Everyone Counts provides online voting services for the 2009 Neighborhood Board elections
By Lori Arizumi
The Neighborhood Commission Office has entered into a contract with San Diego-based Everyone Counts, Inc. for online voting services in the 2009 Neighborhood Board elections. The company was among four that responded to a request for proposals, and was selected after the bids were evaluated by an independent three-member panel. Joan Manke, Executive Secretary of the Neighborhood Commission Office, said, "We are excited to partner with a company having a long history in online elections around the world. We are now able to release some of the details on how the upcoming election shall proceed." Eligible voters will be mailed a unique voter I.D. number that they will need along with the last four digits of their Social Security number in order to access their ballot through a secure website. The mailer will include a list of three locations where the NCO is placing public computers: Honolulu Hale, Kapolei Hale, and a site to be identified on the windward side. Budget cuts and ballot integrity were cited in making the change from mail-in voting. The change was not without controversy, and some boards passed resolutions in opposition."I prefer the previous methods of voting for Neighborhood Board elections, which included information on candidates and ballots mailed to neighborhood citizens," said Bob Chuck, chair of Kuliouou/Kalani Iki Neighborhood Board #2. "However, I am aware of present budget shortages and understand why the new election method has been instituted."
Alternatives To Online Voting For those who cannot access the internet, Everyone Counts, Inc. is also providing a secure phone voting option. Voters would also use their I.D. number to vote using this alternate method.The voting period is May 6-22. Results of the election will be publicized shortly after the close of the election. The new board members assume office on July 1.Candidate profiles are posted at www.honolulu.gov/nco/2009canpro.htm. For more information, visit the NCO website at www.honolulu.gov/nco or call Bryan Mick, Neighborhood Commission Office, (808) 768-3717.