19 polling places on Oahu run out of paper ballots
Polling places on Oahu running out of paper ballots
By Ian Scheuring and Rick Daysog| November 6, 2012 at 10:11 PM HST - Updated June 28 at 7:01 AM
State elections officials say that 19 polling places across the island of Oahu have run out of paper ballots and are using only one electronic voting machine at each location to service voters, causing long voting delays.
And as of 7:45 p.m., five of those polling places remain open, election officials said.
Despite long lines, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said there is no reason to extend voting like he did in the primary.
Elections officials said the polling places include:
Holy Trinity Church
August Ahrens Elementary
Salt Lake Elementary
Mililani District Park
A viewer email tells Hawaii News Now that officials at Holy Trinity Church in Hawaii Kai are handing out numbers to voters in line so that they can use the one electronic voting machine at that location.
Several Facebook followers complained about similar problems problems at Maili Elementary School on the Leeward side. One viewer said her husband stood in a line of more than 100 people waiting to vote electronically after ballots ran out.
Another viewer also complained about lack of ballots at the Korean Methodist Church in Makiki, resulting in a line of about 40 people waiting to vote electronically.
The viewer said that a pregnant woman was turned away after waiting for over an hour. He said election officials were able unable to make accommodations for her.
State lawmakers also expressed frustration and said they were worried about the impact on local races.
Outgoing state Rep. Barbara Marumoto (R-Waialae) said many of the affected polling places are in East Honolulu, where mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano has a strong following.
"I've never heard of a situation like this," Marumoto said.
Abercrombie said the problem was a logistical one that did not prevent anyone from voting. He added that state lawmakers will likely have to look into the matter in the future.
"Whatever inconvenience there was, we are blessed in this country to vote at all," he said.
The issue was reportedly caused by a spike in voter turnout and problems with ballot allotment.
Elections officials are rushing more paper ballots to polling places with no remaining ballots. Any voter in line when polls are scheduled to close will be allowed to vote, according to a state elections spokesperson.