In-person voting begins as election doubters organize to stake out drop boxes
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In-person voting began Tuesday in Hawaii for the general election on Nov. 8.
And Republican gubernatorial candidate Duke Aiona was among the first to cast a ballot at Honolulu Hale.
Meanwhile, a group called “Audit the Vote Hawaii” is organizing election doubters to stake out ballot drop boxes.
Aiona, joined by his wife Vivian, said being among the first in-person voters in the state wasn’t meant to be partisan.
“We have to vote. And so, let’s get out here and vote it’s that important,” Aiona said.
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He added that he’s never seen any evidence in Hawaii of fraudulent voting with mail ballots, but Tuesday after voting in person he repeated doubts of others.
“I’ve heard people say that they’ve received several ballots in the mail. I‘ve also heard people received that they have received ballots for people who no longer live there,” Aiona told reporters.
Elections officials said that’s to be expected when everyone who’s registered is mailed a ballot. They say signature comparisons by computers and staff make fraud difficult here.
But when Aiona was pressed in an earlier interview on whether fraud was part of President Trump’s defeat, Aiona did not rule it out.
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“I saw what happened in Georgia, I was like, Yeah, I’m not sure if you go to bed at night, and Donald Trump’s up by 100,000 vote and then you wake up the next morning, or at least for me, when I saw Trump lost by like by 100,000. I’m like, wow, how did that happen?” Aiona told Hawaii News Now’s Mahealani Richardson.
That kind of rhetoric has inspired sometimes intimidating election box watchers in other states and locally.
“Audit the vote Hawaii” is asking people to sign up to monitor ballot drop boxes around the state.
“I don’t think it’s intimidating people,” Aiona said. “I’m not concerned about it.
“As long as it’s done orderly, it’s done legally. And of course, you don’t interfere with the process of people voting. So, you know, other than that, that’s their ... individual rights as individual freedom to monitor the voting process.”
Elections officials have seen the monitors, but said so far they’ve seen no sign of intimidation. It’s also illegal to hang out within 200 feet of the boxes, according to Honolulu City Clerk Glen Takahashi.
“So if anyone sees person loitering around the box they feel intimidated call law enforcement, don’t call us we are not law enforcement, call law enforcement about that,” Takahashi said, adding that police are aware of the law.
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