The State Office of Elections has confirmed they are sending one of their full-time, permanent staff to the Hilo Elections Office on Saturday, Primary Election Day, to ensure that ballot counting is done properly. But State Elections spokesman Rex Quidilla says that is not unusual. The Counting Center Operation is always a state function, even though it operates within the Hawaii County Elections Office. Usually the State has one person staff it, and this year, that person is relatively new, so the State is sending someone to assist with that function only. They will not be involved with the rest of the operations of the Hawaii County Elections Department.
Quidilla says the number of people who voted at Hawaii County’s Early Walk In Voting sites was approximately 5,807, a figure that should be confirmed with the Hawaii County Clerk, but she’s unavailable to respond to inquiries. As of last Monday, Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi was able to confirm that 10,000 absentee ballots had already been returned, and there’s no updated figure yet.
The total number of registered voters in the County is 101,728.
By comparison, in the 2008 Primary Election, the last year Hawaii County elected a Mayor, the total number of registered voters was 95,829. In the primary, a total of 40,017 voted. Of those, 15,085 voted absentee, either via mail in absentee ballots or at the Early Walk In Voting sites. The number of those voting at their precincts on election day was 24,932.
In 2010, which did not include a Mayoral Election but did include a Gubernatorial race, there were 100,061 registered voters. The total number voting in the Primary Election was 39,477, which included 16,079 who voted absentee and 23,398 who voted at the precincts on Primary Election Day.