Name will remain on ballot, however, votes won’t count

Neldon Mamuad may have lost his court appeal to remain on the ballot – yet his name still will be on the ballot.

Mamuad submitted his papers to run for mayor June 3, the last day to file for candidacy. He did not file his required financial disclosure form until two days later, which led Maui County Clerk Danny Mateo to deem Mamuad’s candidacy void.

Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill upheld Mateo’s determination to disqualify Mamuad on June 25, after a two-day hearing.

Problem is that ballots for the Aug. 9 primary election had to be sent to the printer prior to the late June court hearings to confirm Mamuad’s disqualification, and his name was left on the ballot, Mateo told The Maui News on Wednesday.

So, Mamuad’s name will appear on the ballot in August but votes for him will not count, Mateo said.

Residents still will be able to track the number of “votes” Mamuad does receive, Mateo said. His totals will be downloaded and appear on candidate printouts released on primary election night.

“Mr. Mamuad is not a candidate,” Mateo said. “Votes cast for him will not be counted.”

A proclamation to that effect was published in The Maui News on Wednesday. Signs will be posted at all polling places countywide indicating Mamuad’s noncandidacy and in information disseminated to absentee voters, Mateo said.

“This whole thing is a disappointment (but) . . . we are bound by laws,” said Mateo, referring to the disqualification of Mamuad.

There are six legal candidates running for mayor, including the incumbent, Alan Arakawa.

Earlier this year, Mamuad became embroiled in the Arakawa’s administration’s investigation of a cyber-bullying complaint from police officer Keith Taguma, who alleged he was being harassed on the social media website, formerly known as TAGUMAWatch and currently MAUIWatch.

Mamuad was then a member of the Liquor Commission and an aide to Council Member Don Guzman (He resigned both positions to run for mayor).

An investigation led to a determination that Mamuad had violated the county’s “Violence in the Workplace Action Plan.” He was required to enroll in an employee training program to address harassment and cyber-bulling.

Mamuad filed a federal lawsuit alleging his First Amendment right to free speech had been violated. He maintained that he was pressured to stop working on his Facebook page. The lawsuit was settled out of court in May, with the county agreeing to pay $25,000 in attorney’s fees and damages.

In another election note, the state Office of Elections and county clerks of Hawaii remind voters that the deadline to register for the primary election is July 10.

A prospective voter must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Hawaii and at least 18 years old. Hawaii law allows for those 16 years of age to pre-register, but they must be 18 years old on the day of the election to vote.

Registered voters who have changed their names or moved since the last election should re-register before the voter registration deadline.

Currently, there are more than 700,000 registered voters in the state.

Wikiwiki Voter Registration Forms are available at post offices, public libraries, in the Yellow Pages of the phone book, county clerk’s offices statewide and most state agencies. Forms also are available on the Office of Elections website

Completed voter registration forms must be turned in to the county clerk’s office by 4:30 p.m. or postmarked by July 10.

For information on the elections, go to the Office of Elections website or call (808) 453-8683.

* Lee Imada can be reached at