9. The crux of Plaintiffs’ complaint was the Clerk’s decision to delay mailing the notice-to-cure to some voters on Saturday, November 12, 2022. At the time the complaint was filed it appears the Plaintiffs did not know exactly how many of the notice-to-cure were mailed on November 12, 2022. Based on the evidence later submitted in this case, it is undisputed that only 215 voters were mailed the notice-to-cure by the Clerk on November 12, 2022. For all 215 of these voters, the Clerk received the ballots by no later than Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Yet the Clerk waited four calendar days, until Saturday, November 12, 2022, to mail the notice-to-cure.
10. Pursuant to HRS § 11-106, these 215 voters had until Wednesday, November 16, 2022 to correct the deficiency with the ballot or the vote would not be counted.
11. The Clerk gave at least three reasons to explain why the Clerk had to delay mailing the notice-to-cure to these 215 voters by four calendar days. First, on the election day (November 8, 2022) the Clerk’s election officials were providing assistance to voters at the voter service center. Second, on November 9, 2022 and November 10, 2022 the Clerk’s election officials were “dismantling” the voter service center to return the facility to another department of the county, and were also returning rented equipment, dismantling cameras and storing election equipment. Third, on November 11, 2022 the post office was closed because it was a federal holiday. Thus, it was impossible to mail the 215 notices on November 11, 2022.
12. The record establishes that at least some of these 215 voters received the notice-to-cure in the mail on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. Thus, one-day before the deadline to validate the ballot….
4. As it relates only to the 215 voters who were mailed the notice-to-cure on November 12, 2022, we conclude the Clerk did not make reasonable efforts to determine the validity of these ballots. It was a mistake for the Clerk to prioritize the breakdown of the voter service center to return the facility to another department of the county and the related activities of returning rented equipment or storing election equipment over providing the notice-to-cure to these 215 voters.
5. We are not persuaded by the Clerk that it was reasonable to prioritize this other work over contacting voters with deficient return identification envelopes. As this court has stated, “The right to vote is perhaps the most basic and fundamental of all the rights guaranteed by our democratic form of government.” Accordingly, the Clerk should have prioritized completing the specific activities required to protect the voters’ fundamental right to vote.
6. Thus, we find that it was an error to delay mailing the 215 notice-to-cure to voters by four calendar days to November 12, 2022. The notice-to-cure should have been mailed sooner.