Member Update:  Elections Set

Updated May 19, 2015

May18, 2015

Aloha Colleagues

Late Saturday night, May 16, 2015, your HSTA Board of Directors made a decision to redo state elections for all races which include State Officers (President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer), NEA Director, Alternate NEA Director, and NEA Representative Assembly (RA) Delegates.  This decision was not taken lightly and came after many long hours of deliberation and discussion, including legal advice as to all options to address concerns brought to Board members over the last few weeks from teachers across the state. 

The Board discussed various reported irregularities in the election process including the following:
• Several Board members reported not receiving their own ballots.
• Many teachers complained to Board members that they did not receive their e-mail ballot, the mailed ballot, or both. 
• Many teachers complained directly to HSTA citing they did not receive a ballot,
• Board members believe that others simply waited for a ballot that never came.
• Issues were raised about possible campaign violations regarding the distribution of campaign materials at schools and at HSTA events.
• Issues were raised regarding candidates exposing HSTA to state ethics violations by instructing faculty representatives to place campaign materials in areas of the school that are prohibited by law. 
• The company handling the distribution of the ballots and counting of the votes made a number of errors including:
o Released the e-mailed ballot count before the actual count date thus, compromising the integrity of the election. 
o Not providing a visual counting of ballots for observers and candidates as required
Because of the irregularities experienced in the voting process, your Board made the decision to redo the state elections. 

The HSTA Board of Directors is comprised of public school teachers who all serve as elected volunteers representing the interests of 13,500 Hawaii public school teachers.  Over 2/3 of the board members 21 to 8 (out of 29) believed that the original election was flawed to the point that it disenfranchised members from chapters around the state.  As elected representatives, they did their due diligence to follow up on concerns raised by their teachers, and found that this was the proper recourse.  The decision was not easy, it was made in public forum, and despite all that they knew was going to be said to vilify them, and they stood their ground.  They fought to protect the voting rights of all our members.

We realize that the turnaround time to vote is very tight and comes at a time most inconvenient for you as you work close the school year, but we need teachers to cast their vote, it is their right to do so.  Please watch for instructions, procedures for voting, and biographies for state office candidates.  As we move through this very unusual process, additional details will be provided on the HSTA Web site and via your registered personal e-mail account.


Wil Okabe
President, HSTA

Read election timeline » (pdf)