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Clerk finishes first review of GMO moratorium petition

The Office of the County Clerk has finished its initial review of the initiative petition submitted by the SHAKA Movement, County Clerk Danny Mateo announced today.

“The SHAKA Movement submitted 9,768 signatures, and our office has reviewed the submission to determine the amount of valid versus invalid signatures on the petition,” Mateo said. “We have determined that 4,720 registered voters in the County of Maui have signed the petition, while 5,048 signatures have been deemed invalid.”

A total of 3,745 more valid signatures of registered voters in the County of Maui are needed to place the initiative on the ballot.

On April 7, the SHAKA Movement submitted an initiative petition to place a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms in Maui County.

Mateo noted that signatures may be deemed invalid due to duplicate signatures, insufficient or incorrect information provided, or illegible handwriting. Signatures would also be counted as invalid if a signer was not registered to vote in the County of Maui.

According to the Charter requirements, each individual signing the petition must also provide their printed name and place of residence.

“Our office has carefully and diligently reviewed each line of the petition to ensure a thorough and fair review for all sides of the issue,” said Mateo.

Twenty percent of the total number of voters who cast ballots in the last mayoral general election, or 8,465 registered voters, are required to sign the petition to place the initiative on the ballot.
The ratio between valid and invalid signatures on the GMO moratorium petition is fairly consistent with previous initiative petitions made in other counties in the State of Hawaii.

The Hawaii County Clerk’s Office received initiative petitions in 2006 and 2008, where approximately 45 percent of those signatures were deemed valid in each year, respectively. In comparison, the validity rate for Maui County’s initiative petition submitted for the GMO moratorium is approximately 48 percent.

According to the Maui County Charter, the SHAKA Movement now has 20 days to submit supplemental signatures to the Office of the County Clerk to meet the required amount needed to move the petition forward in the Charter-mandated process.

“Our office looks forward in assisting the public utilize their rights as citizens of Maui County,” said Mateo. “We will continue to provide fair and unbiased assistance on all issues presented to us.”

To access the Maui County Charter or to find additional information, visit www.mauicounty.gov/clerk

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