Elections officials field returned ballots, turnout, volunteers

Low turnout numbers and ballots being returned are just some of the issues being addressed the day before the general election.

Officials and volunteers were at the State Capitol late Monday getting all their phones and machines ready.

So far, combining walk-in and absentee votes, Honolulu county had fewer walk-in voters for the general election than the primary, which is uncommon.

The big question is, how many people will show up to the polls Tuesday?

pre election turnout

Some people have already voted, others will wait and a small portion are still trying.

“We are sending back any ballot envelope that does not have a signature on it,” said Honolulu elections administrator Glen Takahashi. “We need a signature in order to process or have that ballot counted.”

If your absentee ballot was sent back to you or you haven’t even filled it out, there’s still time.

If you still have your ballot, do not drop it off in the mail. It won’t make it to the clerk’s office in time. Instead, drop it off at Honolulu Hale or any of the polling sites.

Sometimes, the signature on the ballot does not match the one they have on file. “We will usually have to invalidate less than 500 in an election,” Takahashi said.

And with low turnout numbers so far, officials are encouraging people to head to the polls.

They also want to make it clear that all of the polling sites on the Big Island will be open. Those who are registered to vote at Pahoa Community Center will have two options in case Mother Nature interferes.

“For the voters in Ainaloa and Orchidland Estates, they can vote at Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center or if they have access to Pahoa Community Center, they can vote there too,” said state chief election officer Scott Nago.

Volunteers are vital on Election Day to help with voters and the polling sites. Right now, the neighbor islands have who they need, but on Oahu, there’s an 85 percent capacity for volunteers.

“If you want to volunteer, you can go down to the polling place on Election Day and if they need you, they’ll recruit you right out of the line,” Nago said.

Head to the polls by 7 a.m. if you’re interesting in helping out.

Polling sites will open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday. If you’re still in line, waiting to vote at 6 p.m., you will still be able to vote.

If you’d like to avoid lines, officials say you should vote in the mid-morning or early afternoon hours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s