Eliminate candidates who didn’t file in time
Questions have arisen about whether two candidate filings were proper.
Election officials should move swiftly to nullify the candidacies of state Rep. Kirk Caldwell for a City Council post and Chrystn Eads for the state House seat Caldwell gave up.
Eads filed nomination papers after the deadline and Caldwell, after he had submitted his petition, was allowed to add a voter's signature to meet the minimum number required. Both actions conflict with state election law.
Caldwell, Eads and their political allies also should be taken to task for shuffling the deck in attempts to fill open seats and maintain or strengthen their confederacies. Though they might consider it acceptable -- even shrewd -- maneuvering, the gamesmanship sours voter participation.
Eads, an executive assistant for Mayor Mufi Hannemann, clearly missed the 4:30 p.m. filing deadline Tuesday. In fact, election officials said she could not file because at that time she didn't have the requisite voter signatures. However, after Hawaii Democratic Party chairman Brian Schatz intervened, an election official allowed Eads to collect signatures, contrary to state law that prohibits exceptions or extension to filing deadlines.
Caldwell submitted his papers at the City Clerk's Office one minute before the deadline, but was short a valid signature. A worker for the office who lives in the correct Council district then added her signature. According to the state elections office, candidates aren't allowed to add more signatures once nomination papers are filed.
The filing mess came after Ann Kobayashi decided at the last minute to challenge Hannemann for mayor, sending factions allied with or opposing the mayor scrambling to position themselves for her Council seat and Caldwell's abandoned House post. Voters should have choices in choosing leaders, but accommodating political shenanigans to get their names on ballots cannot be allowed.
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