Chief Election Officer Scott Nago (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Inside the Senate chamber at the state Capitol building on Saturday, official observers from various community groups conducted a final test of absentee mail ballot counters.
"They serve as the eyes and ears of the public," said Scott Nago, state chief election officer. "Everything is transparent and things are secure "
Nago said this authentication process is in place to guard against voter fraud and election rigging.
"If the public were to see everything that really goes on here, they would really understand what a large undertaking this is and just how seriously people take the integrity of the vote here in Hawaii," said one official observer, Cynthia Vaillancourt.
Meanwhile, at Honolulu Hale on Saturday, a line of voters wrapped around the building for the last day of early walk-in voting.
"It's great, everybody is voting and it's historic," said Makakilo resident Maila Rivad.
Several Hawaii voters said they're not worried about problems arising on Election Day.
"My vote is going to count," Rivad said.
"If it was rigged, we wouldn't have this process that we have right now," said another voter, Lydia Ho.
The Democratic Party of Hawaii and Hawaii Republican Party both agree voter fraud is nonexistent.
"Typically, accusation of voter fraud are used to suppress the votes," said Tim Vandeveer, chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. "It's just not something that happens on anything close to a wide scale."
"We have a really good system here in Hawaii," GOP Honolulu County Chair Larie Manutai said. "I think what we're most concerned about is the Office of Elections not having enough ballots."
But Nago said that won't be an issue this year. Enough ballots are printed and polling places will be fully staffed to ensure a smooth election, he said.
"The way our statutes are written in Hawaii, there are a lot of checks and balances," Nago said. "On top of that, you seal the system with seals and record everything."
So far, about 25 percent of Hawaii's registered voters have cast their ballots in early voting.
On Tuesday, polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. To find your polling place and view additional Election Day tips and reminders, click here.