381,000 votes received as deadline to mail in ballot nears

Election 2020

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The election is one week from Tuesday, and Americans have already cast a record breaking 62 million ballots.

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Here in Hawaii, the Office of Elections warns that time is running out for people to mail in their ballot. In order for it to be received by Tuesday, Nov. 3, it needs to be mailed in Tuesday, Oct. 27.

“If you already have your ballot, vote now. Don’t delay. Don’t wait, turn it in,” said Office of Elections Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago. “After Tuesday, you have to take it to a place of deposit. Or you can vote in person at a voter service center.”

He said any ballot that is mailed after Oct. 27 runs the risk of not getting sent to the elections office in time to be counted.

“Hawaii has a deadline. Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. (Nov. 3) on Election Day–not postmarked,” said Nago.

There has also been a change with the voter service center in Lanai.

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak on Lanai, the voter service center there has been moved from the Lanai Police Department to the Lanai Council District Office.  Nago said this is due to the police department being transformed into an emergency operations center to battle the COVID-19 surge on the island.

Each island has at least one voter service center and at least one place of deposit, which is emptied daily.

So far, about 381,000 ballots have been received by the elections office. The office says this is about 45 percent of voters. Nago said they are expecting much more to come in this last week.

“The primary election we had 51 percent turnout, which was the most votes cast in a primary election ever. We do see more voters voting in the general election than a primary. We don’t see any reason why that would be different this year.”

Scott Nago, Chief Elections Officer

However, he asks that people double check their ballots before sending.

“If you do make a mistake on your ballot, do not use correction tape or initial,” said Nago. “Make sure to call the clerk’s office for replacement ballot. Do it sooner rather than later. Also please sign your return envelope because envelopes without a signature on it will not be counted.”

People can check if their ballot has been received and accepted by visiting the Office of Elections website here.

Ballots received by the office started to be scanned on Saturday. Nago said the goal is to get all ballots that came in early counted by Nov. 3.

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