comscore Residents trickle in as early voting begins | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News

Residents trickle in as early voting begins

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Early walk-in voting began throughout the state Monday. At Honolulu Hale, Jackson Sayama shared his concerns about the upcoming election after voting.

As early primary election voting got underway Monday throughout the state, it was a slow first day at Honolulu Hale with just a few hundred residents casting ballots.

People trickled into City Hall throughout the day. With hot-button issues like rail and homelessness at the forefront of the mayoral campaigns, some were motivated to weigh in as early as possible.

A final tally on the number of voters was not available Monday afternoon, but city senior election clerk Anthony Kyle had earlier estimated that a few hundred people would be taking advantage of early voting.

Kyle said it appeared that nearly 20 percent of Monday’s voters took advantage of same-day voter registration. Starting this year under legislation passed in 2014, Hawaii residents may register to vote in person at any early walk-in voting location in their county and then vote.

Honolulu resident Dennis McCoola said he decided to vote early after numerous negative voting experiences in the past.

“If you wait until Election Day, you go to your precinct and normally there’s problems,” McCoola said. “Maybe the electricity doesn’t work or the computers crash, or they may say, ‘We don’t have your ballot.’ Better to play it safe and come early.”

A few voters stopped by on their lunch breaks or set aside time in advance to make their voices heard, including Pearl City resident Chuck Overman, who said as far as he’s concerned, the city’s moving in the right direction.

“I just want to give (Mayor) Kirk (Caldwell) a confidence vote,” Overman said. “I think rail should go all the way to Ala Moana, and I’m just hoping they honor our bus pass on it.”

But not all of Monday’s voters were as pleased with recent government decisions. Liliha resident Lee Kekua said the city desperately needs new leadership.

“We need change. Fresh blood, fresh minds,” Kekua said. “When you’ve got people that’s been in there for so long, they get complacent.”

Nineteen-year-old Jackson Sayama said casting his ballot Monday was his first voting experience, and he’s concerned with certain policies aimed at relieving the state’s homeless crisis, including the sit-lie ban.

“The laws that ban people from laying down on sidewalks or even forcibly moving these individuals elsewhere on the island, I feel that’s a temporary fix to a larger-scale problem,” Sayama said. “I think more could’ve been done.”

Sayama, one of the youngest voters at Honolulu Hale on Monday, said his interest in politics both locally and nationally inspired him to come out early.

“Politics isn’t the most flattering of subjects, but it’s very important for everyone, especially young voters,” he said. “This is your future. These are your leaders that are going to be shaping Hawaii, your home.”

Early voting will continue through Aug. 11, and free parking is available in the first 10 parking meters Diamond Head of Honolulu Hale on King Street.

WALK-IN SITES

Voters can cast their ballots in the primary election through Aug. 11 at selected locations throughout the state:

County of Hawaii:

County of Hawaii Aupuni Center

Conference Room

101 Pauahi Street, Suite 1

Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Monday – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

West Hawaii Civic Center

Community Room (Building G)

74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway

Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740

Monday – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Waimea Community Center

65-1260 Kawaihae Road

Kamuela, Hawaii 96743

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Pahala Community Center

96-1149 Kamani Street

Pahala, Hawaii 96777

Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

(Closed from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

County of Maui:

Office of the County Clerk

200 S. High Street, Room #708

Wailuku, Hawaii 96793

Monday – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Mitchell Pauole Center

Conference Room

90 Ainoa Street

Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

(Closed from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

County of Kauai:

Lihue Neighborhood Center

3353 Eono Street

Lihue, Hawaii 96766

Monday – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

City & County of Honolulu:

Honolulu Hale

530 South King Street

Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Monday – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Kapolei Hale

1000 Uluohia Street

Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

Monday – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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