HONOLULU (KHON2) — With just a few days to go until the 2022 general election, Honolulu has received over 180,000 ballots so far.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, the City & County’s Elections Division brought the KHON2 crew inside their facility to see how the process works.
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If you send the ballot by mail or drop it off in one of Honolulu’s drop boxes, the City & County’s facility at the airport gathers the ballots and makes sure everything is up to code.
“We’re scanning all of the pieces that we’ve received today, and it’s a two-step process. The first process is a check-in to make sure they’re eligible for selection and to the voters,” Honolulu election administrator Rex Quidilla said.
“As well as preparing for the latter part which is signature verification which is where we compare signatures on the envelope with a reference signature. A reference signature is a voter registration document that you sign in the past,” added Quidilla.
Each ballot is photographed by a special machine.
“There’s a camera right here, and it does it at the rate of anywhere between 14,000 and 18,000 pieces an hour,” Quidilla said.
That isn’t the only camera at the facility that’s watching what happens.
“There’s a multi-layer process it’s also observed. Right now we are on cameras in a secure facility. There’s also an additional process with the state how they open and count ballots,” said Quidilla.
Then, the ballots are locked-up and taken by the Hawaii State Office of Elections where they will be scanned and counted by machines that have been tested with observers on hand. The machines are not connected to the internet.
“There’s a transfer of custody process that goes on, as you can see all of these voted mail envelopes are in secure cages they’re locked, and they will go over to the state office. The State office typically comes here with the Hawaii state election observers, and we hand it over to them,” Honolulu City Clerk Glen Takahashi said.
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If your signature does not match up or if there is no signature on your ballot, you will be contacted and will have five days after election day to fix your ballot.