Hawaii Office of Elections works to deter mail-in voter fraud with safeguards

Election 2020

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Amid the flames of mail-in voter fraud claims being made by President Donald Trump before November’s general election, Hawaii election officials are confident that the process locally will be transparent and fair.

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The office has implemented multiple safeguards, which are designed to prevent fraud and correctly count ballots.

The process starts at registration, when voters provide their signature. When a voter turns in a ballot, they’re required to sign the outside. That signature is then matched-up against the one on the registration.

“The first initial pass is a machine pass it’s compared via computer, if it kicks out then it’s human eyes that go and review it,” Chief Election Officer Scott Nago said. “If it still doesn’t match, the voter will be notified by the clerks office. They’ll have five days after the election to fix it.”

Each ballot also has a unique barcode that is scanned for verification. Before and after the election audits are conducted.

“So we use official surveyers to serve as eyes and ears of the general public,” Nago said. “They’re made up of different political parties, interested organizations in the election. They mark test ballots, they run them through, they get their results, and they reconcile.”

The office says their post-audit of the primary just came out clean.

If you’re worried about your ballot being lost, stolen, or hijacked and turned-in, notify the county clerk.

“A lot of that also depends on the voter, if you didn’t receive your ballot you should notify the clerk’s office to report that,” Nago said “We do tell voters when to expect their ballot–it’s about 18 days prior to the election.”

After you send in your ballot, you can check on the election office’s website to see if your ballot was received. As for potential slow-downs with the U.S. Postal Service, Nago says don’t wait until the last minute or use one of the state’s drop boxes, which are emptied daily.

“Once you get your ballot and you know how you’re going to vote, don’t wait just send it in.” Nago said.

The office is also working on mailing ballots to voters sooner, but has to work with the county clerk to get approval. Right now they should be arriving in mailboxes by October 16. The general election is November 3.

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