Hawaii officials work to ensure USPS delays don’t impact mail-in voting

State legislators are taking steps to ensure Hawaii residents won't be blocked from mailing in their ballots

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With a high turnout in Hawaii’s first all-mail-in election, state legislators are taking steps to make sure residents will not be blocked from casting their votes despite the Trump administration’s decision to block key funding to the US Postal Service.

Hawaii is one of the states that received a warning from the US Postal Service that ballots mailed in for November’s election may not be processed in time to be counted, even if sent before the deadline.

While President Trump argues voting by mail is subject to widespread fraud, legislators whose committees oversee election issues say otherwise.

“Voting is actually more secure than traditional voting because you can’t stuff a ballot box or hack paper ballots,” said Representative Chris Lee, Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.

“There’s a number of precautions built to ensure the person who says they’re voting is voting but the other thing is to throw one vote, you’d have to risk prison time,” said state Sen. Karl Rhoads, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

Whether the Trump Administration chooses to defund or delay postal services, legislators are requesting for mail ballots to be sent out earlier so voters will have more time to get their ballot.

They’re also asking for the elections office to consider getting more voter ballot drop boxes.

“We’re also looking at asking the attorney general here in Hawaii to work with some of the other attorney generals throughout the rest of country to take legal action,” said Lee.

“To make sure that if there’s going be continued pressure to block voting by mail by undermining the post office that we’re prepared for so that that everyone’s votes will count in November.”

If you do choose to vote by mail, voters are encouraged to not wait until the last minute.

“Don’t wait around to send it back you know fill it out with all deliberate haste and the research you need to do for the candidates you’re not familiar with and get them back in,” advised Rhoads.

Hawaii News Now reached out to Rex Quidilla, elections administrator for the city and county of Honolulu who said they don’t have enough time to get more ballot drop boxes between now and the general elections.

But adds that they will be sending the ballots in advance and is encouraging voters to plan ahead and send ballots at least five days before the deadline.

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