Unsure about sending your ballot through the mail? Use the city’s new drop boxes

City ensures ballots are safe & counted with new drop boxes

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With Hawaii having its first all-mail-in election, the city is offering another option for voters to drop off ballots.

According to the City Clerk, Glen Takahashi, voters have already been receiving their ballots.

As far as voting, the city has already received over 7,400 ballots through the mail and drop boxes.

“We believe that this system can work, and we’ll get more turnout than ever before,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “So, you can drop it off directly and not have to worry about an intermediary such as the U.S. Postal Service handling this envelope,” said Takahashi.

Ballots dropped off in these boxes will be collected daily and will have to go through a verification process as signatures are left on the return envelope.

“Every single signature on the envelope that are submitted, all 300,000 or whatever that final number will be are all individually verified and we do it with a combination of computer software that will check the signatures,” explained Takahashi. “As well as staff who do second level and third level reviews for those signatures that aren’t able to be validated via the software.”

Takahashi said common issues they encounter include people failing to sign the envelope or finding a signature that doesn’t match, but adds that they give voters a second chance to make corrections before the ballot is ultimately ruled invalid.

Earlier this week, the city sent out a mailer asking voters to update their signatures, so officials have a good reference image on file.

While there are two voter services centers on Oahu opening next week, the city encourages people to make use of the convenience.

“It’s well-suited for times like this and we hope our community embraces it and accepts it,” said Takahashi.

If you are concerned about your signature being exposed, Takahashi said you can put the return envelope in a separate envelope and mail it in.

There are a total of eight drop boxes across the island.

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