Candidates in very tight races take to social media to ensure every vote is counted
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An election deadline has candidates in tight race scrambling for votes.
Voters with ballot discrepancies have until Wednesday afternoon to fix their signatures and be counted.
And candidates in close races are battling for cured ballots to add to their totals.
Leeward Oahu State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro and challenger Samantha DeCorte are reaching out to voters through social media.
They’re just 72 votes apart.
Both candidates said that 192 ballots in their district are missing or have mismatched signatures.
“These ballots that can still be cured, are really going to be important to the final count,” said Shimabukuro. “So, feeling uncertain at this point.”
“I think, moving forward in next elections that we have to be a little bit more well informed on how sensitive these issues are,” said DeCorte.
Over in Maui County, the clerk’s office said 892 ballots still need to be verified.
First-time council candidate Noelani Ahia is 504 votes behind incumbent Alice Lee, in her 14th election.
“And it’s highly unlikely that 50% of the people returned to cure their ballots for their own reasons,” said Lee. “Whatever reason, they don’t have to, it’s really up to them.”
“It made me realize that there was still a small chance that the election could sway in a different direction. So, you know, I’ve been actively trying to find out how this process works, and what the county’s responsibility is to notify the voters.”
Each county is notifying voters whose ballots were not verified and telling them how to be counted, which is normal.
But candidates reaching out on social media, that’s different.
“I have not heard of this happening in Hawaii before,” said Colin Moore, HNN’s political analyst.
Moore said he’s unaware of any election outcome being changed by cured ballots, but he thinks counties could minimize discrepancies by making in-person voting more widely available.
“Because in the grand scheme of things, there’s nothing more important than people having faith in our electoral process,” said Moore. “And if that means spending a tiny bit more money to have more service centers open on election day, I think we should.”
To check your ballot, go to the State Election’s Office website.
If it’s not verified, contact your county elections office.
The deadline is Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
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