With primary election just weeks away, all registered voters should have their mail-in ballots

Oahu voters: Look for your primary election ballot in the mail as soon as this week

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With less than a month left until the primary election ― Hawaii’s first that will be all mail-in ― officials have sent out all ballots.

Some 450,000 Oahu residents are slated to get their ballots by Tuesday. And with the mail-in format in place, Honolulu elections officials are hoping for an efficient process but preparing for problems to crop up.

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“Election night, you’ll be seeing things a little different,” said City Clerk Glen Takahashi.

“The election won’t be over that night, certainly not by the 10 o’clock news because again, we have to follow up with some voters on their signatures. So the so-called ‘final results,’ you’ll see a good portion probably the next day and another final, final result a week later.”

Instructions laid out in the packet voters will be receiving are succinct: Vote, sign, and send back.

However, verifying every signature can be complicated.

“The first part is done through software and these are your slam dunk, almost exact matches,” said Rex Quidilla, the city’s elections administrator.

“After, what falls out of that is done manually, so it’s a two-part process. One is done on a first review to see if everything matches and then if it doesn’t match, then it goes to supervisors to really critically examine the signatures.”

Those who choose to not vote by mail will have the option of casting their ballots at select in-person locations. As a result, election officials will be on the lookout to ensure voters don’t double up.

“If for whatever reason, say that voter came down and voted in person and then the envelope circles back to us, well, we have a cross check for that as well to make sure that we don’t count the ballot that’s in that envelope because the person already voted in person,” Takahashi said.

To avoid any confusion, the Office of Elections recommends all voters submit their ballots early. They must be received, not postmarked, by 7 p.m. on August 8.

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