Election Volunteers Needed - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Election Volunteers Needed

Henry Kim Henry Kim
Denise DeCosta Denise DeCosta
Absentee voting at Honolulu Hale Absentee voting at Honolulu Hale

by Darren Pai

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Some voters like the convenience of walk-in absentee voting at Honolulu Hale.

"I won't be able to come in to my regular polling place on primary day," said Henry Kim, a voter from Kaimuki.

But the city says its trying to keep up with the crowds because its running short on volunteers and workers to staff its polling sites.

"We don't have as many workers we would like, the optimum number," said Denise DeCosta, city clerk.

"We are managing with pretty good temps and our staff is managing the best they can with what they have," DeCosta said.

The state also needs volunteers, more than 800 statewide. Most of those vacancies are on Oahu. Elections officials said recruiting efforts so far have fallen short.

"Here especially because have a low unemployment rate," DeCosta said. "There's more people employed so fewer people available to work at election time."

The city's upped its pay for temporary workers to $8.50 to $9.50 an hour. The state increased its stipend for volunteers from $75 to $85. But so far, even that's not enough incentive.

"The idea is we're not doing it so much for the money, we're doing it because it's a necessary part of preserving our democracy," DeCosta said.

Some voters took care of business early. They hope others won't be discouraged if they run into long lines.

"Very important," Kim said. "I've been voting all my life and i think this election is very important."

Powered by Frankly