In the latest to the Hawaii County Election Office drama, there is another change in where absentee ballot by mail voters can return their ballots, and they MAY be turned in at Early Voting Walk In locations.
Monday evening at a press conference, County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi announced that absentee ballots could only be returned to the Hilo Elections Office in person or by mail, to arrive no later than Saturday, or on Saturday at a regular voting precinct. That was a change from the procedure up until Monday, when voters could also return absentee ballots to the Kona Elections Office on the second floor of West Hawaii Civic Center.
Wednesday, this morning, Hawaii County Council Chair Dominic Yagong, to whom the County Clerk reports, advised that voters CAN return their absentee ballots to any of the three walk in voting locations. Those locations are at West Hawaii Civic Center, Waimea Community Center, and Aupuni Center Conference Room at 101 Puahi Street, today until 4 and Thursday between 9 and 4. Voters may still mail absentee ballots to the Hilo Elections Office or take them to any polling place on Saturday.
Yagong said that on Tuesday, County Clerk Kawauchi got advice from the State Attorney General’s office and from the State Elections Office that it was perfectly appropriate to allow absentee mail voters to bring the ballots into the Early Voting Walk In locations. Nago’s office said Tuesday that practice is followed statewide, and in all counties, voters who have absentee ballots may return them not only by mail but in person to any Early Voting Walk In locations or to any County Elections Office.
At Monday evening’s press conference, Kawauchi said more than 12,500 people have already voted in Hawaii County, either via Early Voting Walk In or by Absentee Ballot.