Hawaii sees surge of last-minute voters casting ballots in person

A lone line formed outside Kapolei Hale of voters seeking to cast a ballot in person.
A lone line formed outside Kapolei Hale of voters seeking to cast a ballot in person.(Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Nov. 3, 2020 at 5:40 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thousands of last-minute voters flooded Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale on Tuesday to cast a ballot in person, forming long lines that lasted hours.

The turnout capped a Hawaii election that saw a record number of votes cast before Election Day.

By Monday more than 350,000 Oahu voters turned out for this year’s election, primarily voting by mail.

Many of those in line to cast a ballot in person Tuesday were first-time voters.

“I’ve never voted before but I think this election was really, really important. That’s why I decided to come out today,” said Zoe Cowan, of Nuuanu.

Added Melina Hicks, another first-time voter:

“I felt like I could not sleep last night and it was just like, you need to vote. I feel at peace now. I feel at peace that I did my duty,” she said.

At around 11 a.m., the line of voters at Honolulu Hale snaked around city hall and all the way to the Honolulu Municipal Building.

“The lines were moving fast,” said Jennifer Ezekiel, who voted at Honolulu Hale early Tuesday morning.

Many candidates spent the final few hours on the phone, in Zoom meetings and sign waving, hoping to attract these last minute voters.

“We think that the new voters, people who have never been involved in the process will come out and vote for me,” said mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya.

His opponent, Rick Blangiardi, held a Zoom meeting with women supporters.

“It all really kind of came together. This was … sort of an inspiring moment if you will,” Blangiardi told his supporters.

Retired Judge Steve Alm, running for city prosecutor, also held Zoom meetings Tuesday with community leaders.

His opponent Megan Kau said she wanted to thank her many supporters.

“As we moved forward and progressed, tons of people kept coming forward. I was always grateful and shocked because I am a first time candidate,” Kau said.

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