Getting Hawaii ready for the elections

Rex Quidilla
Rex Quidilla

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

PEARL CITY (KHNL) - It's a month before the primary election here in Hawaii. At the voting booth this fall, there will be some new things for voters. And there may also be changes for future elections.

State employees are reaching out to recruit residents to fill the 3600 positions needed for the primary and general elections. Volunteers are needed to staff the polls.

Workers are also busy getting mailings and instructions ready to go.

Because not only will there be new voting machines for the primary, there will also be new ballots, requiring voters to pick a party before they cast their ballot.

"The normal tendency is to pick candidates, but in the primary voters have to pick candidates representing a particular party," said Rex Quidilla, in charge of voter services with the Office of Elections.

In the past, if you voted in other parties races, the ballot didn't count.

But this year, your selected party pick will still add up, just not the others.

The Office of Elections is not only adding up votes but also costs.

"Our expenses are many, varied and considerable," said the State Chief Elections Officer, Kevin Cronin.

The Office of Elections, like other state departments, are also subtracting.

Because of a mandatory budget reduction. Cutting out travel for training and other meetings which would ensure smooth nights of voting. Those cuts may not affect this year's election, but there is concern it could cause problems in future contests.

"We don't know what will happen after the election, we don't have the luxury of time now to be thinking about what those impacts will be in the future. But they are in the back of my mind," added Cronin.

Another change you may notice for this election. Instead of the printouts of the results throughout the night and the frantic dash to get them on air, the updates will instead be posted on the Office of Elections website.