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More people voted in Hawaii’s general election than ever before

Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 10:43 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - High-profile races both locally and nationally were driving factors for a high voter turnout in this general election, experts said.

After final election results were posted around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, officials reported 579,165 ballots were cast ― a record high for Hawaii.

The number of ballots cast translates into a turnout of 69.6%. That’s based off a total of 832,466 registered voters across the state.

The last time turnout was that high was in 1998, when 68.6% of voters turned out.

Most Hawaii residents voted by mail, getting their ballots in early. Officials reported 550,423 ballots, or 66.1%, were mailed in, while 28,742 others, or 3.5%, opted to vote in person.

For weeks, the state has been preaching to residents to mail in ballots early. But some still wanted to utilize the voter service centers at Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale to either register, or fill out a traditional ballot.

Voters had different reasons for this: One person said they were undecided up until election day. Others claimed they never got their ballots in the mail.

[Read more: Election results delayed for hours as polling locations see long lines of in-person voters]

One thing was apparent however: Election officials did not anticipate such a large flood of day-of voters at Oahu’s voter service centers.

Some people stood in line for up to six hours to cast their ballot as lines stretched long and far around the centers.

Chief Election Officer Scott Nago said the voter service centers are the responsibility of the county clerks, and they will meet to discuss improvements going forward.

That could include the opening of more service centers in the future.

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