HONOLULU (KHON2) — As we gear up for another election season, the prior national election’s unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud have put a spotlight on election integrity. Saturday the state elections office tested their voting machines that count ballots again for accuracy.
The Office of Elections held another vote counting system test for elections at the State Capitol in the Senate Chambers. The test was done to check on the logic and accuracy for the vote counting system on Saturday, July 30.
“We got to make sure the system is working correctly. so we have official reps that will run ballots through. They will reconcile, then once it is done we will seal everything up and get ready for the primary election,” Chief Election Officer Scott Nago said.
About 600 volunteers are expected to help out starting Tuesday. On Saturday, official observers from both political parties as well as volunteers watched the process, acting as eyes and ears for the public.
“I want to know a little bit more about how the process works. I just want to make sure that every vote that is supposed to be counted is counted,” volunteer Nicholas Yee said. “I think everything looks on the up and up so far, the tabulation of the votes and everything. At least from my packet. everything looks correct.”
Volunteers scanned ballots one by one and were guided through the process by officials from the elections office.
“As a volunteer, I am encouraged that the system is well planned and that they’re testing at every single point.” volunteer Cora Yamamoto said.
Even after going through that process, some aren’t convinced.
“I can not say that this machine can not be tampered with after all my votes have gone into it,” volunteer Barbara Childress said.
KHON2 asked Nago how the office of elections keeps the machines safe until election day.
“What we do is we seal each individual machine with a wire has seal which has a unique number on it. We record the seal numbers which the observers will sign off on that. On election day when we open everything up, they will do the reverse process. They’ll verify the numbers are the same and sign off on that too,” Nago said.
Nago added that it’s best to get your ballot in as soon as possible if you’ve received it. Votes in the August 13th primary election will only be counted if they’re received by 7:00 p.m. on election night, and voters who are casting their ballot in person have to be in line at a service center by 7 p.m. on election night to be able to vote.
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That test will determine whether the election results are transmitted accurately from the neighbor islands.