Make your vote count on June 2

Mahalo for voting today!

Your June 2 elections offered a fair and equal opportunity for all of members to participate and vote at locations around the state for their union’s leadership.


KHON - Channel 2 News

June 2, 2015

Ballots cast in second HSTA election, results to be tallied next week

The polls closed Tuesday for 13,500 teachers who cast their re-vote for new union leaders.

Polling took place from 3-6 p.m. at various locations across the state.

This controversial second election for the Hawaii State Teachers Association went along as planned, despite an attempt to block it by a candidate for president.

The HSTA threw out the original results because officials say some teachers did not get their ballot in the mail.

The results from Tuesday’s re-vote will be released next week at the earliest, after they’re tallied and certified.

“After the polls close, the ballot boxes will be sealed. We have special tamper-proof tape. The ballot boxes will then be taken to HSTA to secure it in a room until next week Monday,” said executive director Wilbert Holck.

“I think it’s important that everyone votes and every one has a say and that it’s fair. I guess that’s the main thing,” said Inga Park Okuna, a counselor at Kalihi Uka Elementary School.

HSTA says it’s waiting until next week to count the votes because teachers were also allowed to do absentee voting, which had to be postmarked by Tuesday.

Video at:

Hawaii News Now

Public school teachers vote for new HSTA leadership

Posted: Jun 02, 2015 7:07 PM HST
Updated: Jun 03, 2015 12:21 AM HST

By Jade Storms

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -Public school teachers who didn’t pull an absentee ballot but wanted to vote in Tuesday’s re-do HSTA election cast their votes in person.

“We felt that this was maybe a better way to do it where you have 27 poll sites across the islands. And people can actually come to the poll site and vote,” HSTA Executive Director Wilbert Holck said.

The first election in April was done online and with ballots that were mailed. Last month the HSTA Board rejected the results citing irregularities.

“We had teachers from all islands that were saying they did not get a ballot. And those who were supposed to get it through email never got it through email,” Fern Elementary School Teacher Louise Cayetano said.

Campbell High School teacher Corey Rosenlee claimed he got the votes needed to win the race for HSTA president.  He was running against HSTA Vice President Joan Lewis. A judge denied Rosenlee’s request for a TRO to stop a second election. Teachers told Hawaii News Now they felt a do-over election was necessary.

“We want to get the best people in who will make good decisions for all the teachers, for all of us,” said Inga Park Okuna, a counselor at Kalihi Uka Elementary

There are 13,500 public school teachers.

“That’s the tricky thing about democracy. It can get messy at times,” Lewis said. “How do we make sure that everybody’s got what they need? We do need to move forward. The union and the work of the union doesn’t stop. So we need to move on to what comes next.”

“Our schools in Hawaii are under funded. Our kids are learning in 100° classrooms. Our teachers are the worst paid in the nation,” Rosenlee said. “I’ll be very happy the moment when we are done with the election and we can actually start fighting for education.”

The votes will be counted on Monday. Results will then go to HSTA’s Board. Barring any difficulties, the outcome will be certified then announced.

Read Letter to Members from Executive Director Wilbert Holck



Here’s how you can vote:

Read Elections Timeline » (pdf)

Read Procedures for Voting » (pdf)

Read Voting Site Listing » (pdf)
Updated 05/28/15

Read Voting Sites by School » (pdf)
Updated 05/23/15
Updated 05/28/15


HSTA members may vote at the following locations: Read HSTA Member Voting Sites by School » (pdf)
Updated 05/23/15
Updated 05/28/15


The deadline for HSTA member absentee requests has been extended.
*Phone request deadline:  Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. (Call 833-2711)
*Walk –in request deadline to the Honolulu office: Monday, June 1, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

Aloha Colleagues,

Last Saturday, the teacher members on your HSTA Board of Directors decided to redo the elections.  We feel this decision was made for the right reasons, fairness and equity for our members and the candidates. 

Check your mailbox for your elections packet.  The packets are being mailed this week.  Members may vote absentee or at voting locations that will be set up around the state on June 2, 2015.  Absentee ballot requests must be called in to the HSTA office by 4:00 p.m. May 27 and postmark returned to HSTA by June 2.

HSTA Members will vote for:

State Officers

NEA Director
Alternate NEA Director

NEA Representative Assembly Delegates

Voting is your opportunity and your voice. We teach our students that voting is one of the most important rights and responsibilities that U.S. citizens have; a right that many in the world do not have.  About 150 million American citizens are qualified to vote.  Yet, an article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (Low voter turnout not unique to islands 5/17/15) this week noted unfortunately, many do not vote.

All members have the opportunity to vote in our Association elections and I encourage you to exercise your right by participating in the upcoming elections on June 2. Vote because every election matters. Vote to set an example for our students and community.  Vote because the choices you will make matter to our profession and our students.

I understand that this is a busy time of year for teachers.  The Elections Committee set up a voting process that is meant to be as convenient as possible for you.  We hope the voting sites will allow more members to vote.  HSTA was created by teachers for teachers, please have a say in the future of your Association.


Wil Okabe


Here’s how you can vote:

Read Elections Timeline » (pdf)

Read Procedures for Voting » (pdf)

Read Voting Site Listing » (pdf)
Updated 05/28/15

Read Voting Sites by School » (pdf)
Updated 05/23/15
Updated 05/28/15

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