A dozen protesters show up at elections meeting to find it being conducted via Zoom

Former Republican gubernatorial candidates BJ Penn and Gary Cordery will hold what they call an “election integrity” rally in Waikiki on Saturday.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 4:46 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 16, 2022 at 5:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Election doubters aired their grievances Friday at the state Elections Commission’s first meeting since the August primary.

But it wasn’t the forum they expected.

About a dozen people showed up at the state Elections Office hoping to speak to commissioners in person but were disappointed to find the meeting was on Zoom. They say it’s another reason they don’t trust the current voting process.

“It was my duty to come here in person thinking that everybody else was going to be here in person, and we could actually see them in person and read their body language, hear their tone in their voice,” said Kaleo Nakoa, who is running for City Council.

“All of you people who are on this Commission Board should be present in person and we air to the public,” Jessica Caiazzo said in her testimony.

“If there was honesty, you would stand and shake our hand and say, how are you guys doing,” Cory Asuncion told the board.

Dozens of others attended online, some giving testimony.

They believe computers and mail cannot be trusted and the state should go back to in-person voting and counting ballots by hand.

Some said they were frustrated with the slow response to their requests for public records.

“We all agree that we want our votes counted fairly and justly accurately,” Laura Nakanelua said in her testimony.

Commission Chair Scotty Anderson told attendees COVID concerns prevented them from meeting in person.

He said he hopes the next one will be face to face.

An election official noted Friday’s testimonies were the most aggressive he’s seen. A few attendees said they want accountability and threatened to protest at their homes if concerns aren’t addressed.

“I will find you. I will expose your whereabouts and where your address is, and where you guys stay,” Alika Valdez told the board. He claimed to be a private investigator.

Attendees said they just want to be heard, and some are running for office to have a voice.

“The government’s decisions will affect you, no matter what they do. So you need to get to people were involved every step of the way, not just every two years, not just every four years, but every day, there’s a fight,” Nakoa said.

More protests are expected ahead of the November general election.

On Saturday, Republican gubernatorial candidates BJ Penn and Gary Cordery and their supporters will hold what they call an “election integrity” rally in Waikiki.