Insufficient signatures sink Maui mayor recall attempt

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — An attempt to recall Maui Mayor Mike Victorino has failed after organizers didn’t collect the minimum number of signatures needed, The Maui News reported.

The recall effort needed to gather 21,586 signatures, which is equivalent to 20% of the 107,930 registered voters in Maui County during the 2020 general election.

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But in two attempts, the group known as RecallVictorino.org brought in a total of 1,677 valid signatures.

“This concludes the recall petition for the removal of Michael P. Victorino as mayor, as the process in its entirety has been exhausted,” County Clerk Kathy Kaohu told the group’s main organizers in a letter Friday.

Organizers and supporters of the recall have said they were concerned about COVID-19 vaccine mandates and possible lockdowns, along with the county’s spending of federal coronavirus relief funds during the pandemic.

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The recall effort launched in late October and organizers had 30 days to collect signatures. On Nov. 20, the group submitted 3,211, of which 1,647 were deemed invalid and 1,564 were valid. Because some were found to be invalid, the group had 20 days to file a supplemental petition with more signatures.

The supplemental petition, due Dec. 29, contained 423 signatures, of which 310 were invalid and 113 were valid. Among the invalid signatures were duplicates, those that came from voters who were not registered or who lived in different counties.