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More voters head early to the polls

Some 1,729 regulars and first-timers show on the initial day of early walk-in voting

By Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 12:57 p.m. HST, Oct 24, 2012

The number of Oahu early walk-in voters Tuesday — 1,729 — topped first-day totals for the August primary and the 2010 general elections, which were 983 and 1,261, respectively.

"We're off to a good start," said Hono­lulu City Clerk Bernice Mau, adding that her office had also received 24,000 absentee ballots as of Tuesday morning.


Any registered voter may vote during the early voting period, which runs through Nov. 3. Bring a photo ID. Times are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except where noted.

>> Honolulu Hale
>> Kapolei Hale
>> Pali Golf Course

>> Aupuni Center, Hilo
>> West Hawaii Civic Center, Kailua-Kona
>> Waimea Community Center

>> County Clerk’s Office, Wailuku
>> Mitchell Pauole Center, Molokai. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon

>> Historic County Annex, Lihue

At Honolulu Hale on Tuesday afternoon, a steady stream of early walk-in voters for the general election flowed in. For some it's a tradition, and for others it was their first time

"I've been voting early since I got home in 2000," said James Tomi, 55, of Wai­pahu, who moved home from Seattle 12 years ago. "It's convenient. … I've already decided. It's not as crowded, and you can park right up front." (Parking is free for voters on South King Street in front of Hono­lulu Hale.)

Punchbowl resident Paulette Haliniak, 68, said she was voting early for the first time, since she'll be off-island on election day.

"Usually we go to vote as a family," all eight voters in their household, she said. "For the primary we all went to Stevenson Intermediate in one car. We say, ‘Who you voted for?' and that night we watch the results on TV and cheer on (the candidates)."

But Haliniak may be introducing a new tradition. She picked up absentee ballot applications for the whole family, "so that way nobody has an excuse."

For those who submitted absentee ballot applications Thursday or Friday, they are still being processed.

Mau said, "If anyone was on the permanent absentee list from 2010 or the primary and hasn't received a ballot yet, they should call our office at 768-3800."

Those who put in a request two weeks ago and haven't received it yet should also call.

Absentee voters who have moved or who have requested mail to be held while on vacation should also call the clerk's office since the post office does not forward or hold ballots, as with other mail, for security reasons, Mau said.

Mau said 621 replacement ballots went out Tuesday to Upper Manoa voters in the 5th Precinct of the 23rd House District who received duplicate ballots. They should arrive in a couple of days, she said. Voters in the same district who received no ballots should also receive them soon since they were mailed Monday.

Elections Administrator Glen Taka­ha­shi said the initial number of 817 voters who were mailed duplicate ballots was an estimate, and they subsequently pinpointed the number at 621.

Voters have until Tuesday to request an absentee mail ballot. Applications must be received by the city clerk's office by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Kimi Elder, 56, of Chinatown said, "The minute I'm able to vote, I vote. … Now when I see all the ads, I don't care. Now we can just put it out of our heads."

Darrow Aiona, 77, a former state Board of Education member, said, "It's the second time (doing early walk-in voting). It's so much more convenient. … You never know, for one reason or another, you (may) have conflicts (on election day)."

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