Voting problems, fraud, scandals plague polling places across America: Hawaii
HAWAII – November 19, 2018
On Election Day November 6th, ballot scanners and voting machines were not working properly at several polling locations on O'ahu, KITV4 reported. McKinley High School was one of several polling sites that encountered an issue with one of its machines.
The precinct chairman at the school tells KITV4 there was a wiring issue with one of the voting machines that has since been resolved.
Ala Wai Community Park also reported problems that have been fixed. Over at Helemano Elementary and Stevenson Middle School, troubleshooters had to replace the polling places ballot scanner machine.
Out of the 756,000 registered voters in Hawaii, the Office of Elections said more than 180,000 voted early, that includes walk-in and mail-in ballots.
Turnout in Hawaii County for Tuesday’s election was among the lowest in its history as well as the lowest of any county in the state this year, according to West Hawaii Today.
Hawaii County’s rate this general election was higher only than the most recent nonpresidential election of 2014, when only 47.7% of registered voters cast ballots, according to the state Office of Elections. Between absentee and in-person votes throughout the Big Island’s precincts, only 51.5% of the county’s 115,406 registered voters took part in the general election.
The trend reflects a steady drop in voter participation at the polls. While turnout rates in midterms are consistently lower than those in presidential elections, recent data show fewer people are casting their votes from midterm to midterm and presidential election to presidential election. And officials aren’t certain why.
“I wish I knew,” said Pat Nakamoto, Hawaii County elections program administrator. “I would do something about it.”
In Hawaii County, nearly three out of every five ballots counted in Tuesday’s election — accounting for 34,497 ballots in total — were absentee ballots.
“I made it a point to vote, but was concerned that we did not get ANY materials before the election by mail or AT the polls that discussed the qualifications of the people we were voting for or the measures that we were asked to weigh in on. In other states, the county sends a voting guide. Not sure if THAT would help bring more people to the polls, but it may help avid voters be better prepared,” Julie Chancerelle Ziemelis noted in online comments.
“Well, what was the point of voting? All the two-party elections were automatically going to be won by Democrats. For non-aligned positions like the county council, it's hard to work up any enthusiasm for a contest that results in the kind of comical incompetence and mendacity that's been demonstrated by that body,” another commenter added.
In past elections, Waianae has had one of the state's lowest voter turnout rates, wrote KITV4. Waianae Voters hoping to sign-up on Election Day found no forms to fill out. Residents tell KITV4 they didn't have time to wait for more forms to be delivered so the shortage kept them from casting ballots altogether.
"It's just a shame that when they're finally in tune into what's going on and they got the drive to go and vote they were shut down at the polls. So it's a real turn off to first time voters they feel powerless basically," Joseph Simpliciano, a Waianae Resident, said.
Simpliciano is frustrated polling sites on the Leeward Coast weren't better prepared. Like tens of thousands of others, Simpliciano voted absentee but couldn't believe new resident opting to vote for the first time hit a road block.
State Representative Cedric Gates says the polling site at Waianae Intermediate School ran out of voter registration forms last Tuesday and some were given the option to go to another site in Makaha only to find out that precinct had run out of forms as well.
"Especially knowing that someone from our side was on the top of the pallet running for governor, I think that increase the frustration and the support out here on the voter turnout there," Gates said.
The Office of Elections sent a letter to Rep. Gates in response to the matter.
"We are sorry for the inconvenience experienced by voters who waited for forms... We will increase the amount of forms that are assigned and train our precinct officials to contact control center when they are running low on supplies," the letter reads.
“The STATE as usual, ends up failing a simple task. On top of that they shift the blame to the people of the Waianae community, how disgusting. Can the State staff count to a 1,000, or is that too much work? Fire them, remind the new staff why they got hired,” commented one of the readers.
“It could be the commies at it again. There might be some Vikings lurking out there,” another commenter joked.