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Isle candidates, supporters make last appeals to voters

  • PHOTOS BY JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Incumbent Mayor Kirk Caldwell spoke to the media Monday during the last day of campaigning before Election Day at the Safeway on Beretania Street, above right, while challenger Charles Djou shook hands with supporters at the corner of Bishop and King streets in downtown Honolulu, above left.

  • TIM WRIGHT / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

    Lawrence Hirata signs waves for presidential candidate Donald Trump, late Monday afternoon in Hilo.

  • TIM WRIGHT / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

    Above, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard helped Iolana Kahele with a cupcake at the Democrats’ Grand Rally at Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale in Hilo.

Hawaii Democrats and Republicans staged last-gasp sign-waving sessions before the Democrats’ traditional Grand Rally in Hilo on Monday in the final buildup to today’s voting.

On Oahu, incumbent Mayor Kirk Caldwell and challenger former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou made their last face-to-face appeals to the electorate.

Across Hawaii today, voters head to the polls to cast ballots in perhaps the most acrimonious presidential election in modern history, an increasingly negative Honolulu mayoral race, three barely contested congressional races and a host of local races.

ELECTION DAY

When: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, but anyone who is standing in line at 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Election officials say voters can save time by voting during nonpeak hours, which are in the morning from 7:30 to 9:30 or in the afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30.

Where: Polling places typically are at a nearby public school cafeteria or community center. Voters who are unsure of where they should vote can locate their polling places by using the Office of Elections’ website at elections.hawaii.gov or calling 453-VOTE (8683).

What to bring: Acceptable identification for voters at the polls includes a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license or state ID, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government-issued document that shows your name and address.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Voting results will be issued over the course of the night, starting soon after the last poll closes, with updated numbers at about 8:30, 10 and 11:30 p.m., according to the state Office of Elections.

In Honolulu on Monday, both Caldwell and Djou spent much of the day campaigning — shaking hands and waving signs. Both men said they believe the race is tight.

Caldwell, who was shaking hands in the parking lot of the Beretania Street Safeway, said an internal poll showed him ahead — but only slightly. “Of course, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day,” the mayor said. He said he would continue to accentuate the positive through the end of his campaign.

Djou and about 20 supporters braved early afternoon rain and waved signs at Bishop and South Bere­tania streets.

Like Caldwell, Djou said he expected a close finish. “I think we’re doing well, and I look forward to the judgment of the people,” he said.

Voters gave him a good vibe during an around-the- island trolley blitz Sunday, even better than during his runs for Congress, he said. “Every single stop that we went to, the reaction was exceptionally positive.”

Across the state, along a busy Hilo thoroughfare Monday, about 15 supporters of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump planted American and Hawaii state flags as a display for afternoon motorists and were showered with both cheers and jeers for their efforts.

When a motorist at a traffic light cursed the Trump supporters, Ava Olson sprinted down the grass strip along the highway to shake and wave her Trump sign where the heckler couldn’t miss it.

Olson, 32, said she has experienced plenty of political pushback. When she told a friend she supports Trump, the friend at first thought Olson was kidding. When asked whether that friend is still a friend, Olson replied, “I don’t know.”

Hawaii Democrats, meanwhile, gathered a mile away at Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale in Hilo for the traditional election eve rally. Prominent Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, mingled with union members and campaign volunteers for a chili-and-rice dinner.

It is a given that Hawaii’s Democrats will emerge from the local campaigns with a firm grip on state politics, but Schatz said he will be glad to see an end to this year’s campaign season anyway.

“This campaign has been particularly exhausting for voters,” he said. “It is the least edifying, the least inspiring campaign in at least a generation, so we all have to work really hard to find the good in each other, to try to get to productive work and to lay down our arms and govern again. I don’t think there’s a single soul in the United States that wants this campaign to go on any longer.”

Voters can view sample ballots online at elections.hawaii.gov.

All polling places are compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, and most offer accessible parking. Voters needing help can request services at the voter assistance station at any polling place.

Voters who have requested and filled out mail-in absentee ballots but did not mail in those ballots can drop them off at any polling place in their county. Completed ballots that are postmarked today but are not received by the county clerk’s office by 6 p.m. today will not be accepted.

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  • History will be made, for all candidates, and the fate of the USA, as well as the world, will be decided by tomorrow morning.

    Medicare, government retirement pensions, retirement pensions, Obamacare, standards of living, quality of life, the dollar value, terrorism, our weakened military, our demoralized law enforcement, our educational system, our survival on this planet, etc… is all in the hands of POTUS & Congress.

  • Caldwell will win simply because of campaign strategy or lack thereof of Djou. In all his advertising, Caldwell stayed away from the rail fiasco which he played a major role in. Djou, on the other hand, did little to highlight the rail failure and Caldwell’s part in it. Not sure what Djou was thinking.

    • No, Caldwell will win because of those that go in to vote with their eyes closed. If the past 4 years wasn’t enough to give us all and indication, then nothing will. We don’t need to be looking any further than the rail; the single most important, controversial and costly issue this state has ever had, and he has failed us all.

    • Pot meet kettle. Kirk ran the most negative campaign I can remember in the election against Cayetano.

      If you want more delays and monthly reports of growing budget problems with the rail, with zero accountability, then vote for kirk. I voted for Djou.

    • Oh I will I would have seen that sooner. I would have been using it everywhere. I voted for Gary Johnson and I am still upset that he never made it to a debate.

  • SA where were the polls for mayors race? Notice a big absence of polling data from the local media for the one major contested local race? Aside from keeping the public informed, polling can help make the race more interesting and perhaps even tighter?

    • Oh, they did a poll. That poll showed Caldwell LOSING. Caldwell is their pal, sponsor and preferred candidate. Therefore, you didn’t get to see the poll results.

  • Goooooooooo CHARLES DJOU! Many may not like Charles simply because of his party affiliation. Republican. If you are voting along party lines ie: Democrat. You’ll get the SAME. Then you will truly miss out on a good candidate. A fiscally responsible candidate who can fix the many issues that,under Democrat rule has ,reaped havoc on Honolulu ! So ask your self are you happy with the way the Democrat have ruled for decades or are you willing to make a……..Change?

    Remember folks, only people with the mentality of Insanity. Will keep doing the same thing over and over again and thus Nothing will change. IMUA VOTE!

  • Kirk Caldwell is a crook.

    Kirk Caldwell is a liar.

    Kirk Caldwell is cowardly.

    Kirk Caldwell is an JERK.

    Kirk Caldwell is getting fired at about 8:30pm tonight.

    As a proud independent who voted for and against Lingle, and for and against Hanabusa, and against Charles Djou in the past, I can tell you that I felt nothing but pride and conviction when I filled in the box next to “DJOU, CHARLES K” on my ballot. This is above politics, above party, above campaign ads, above PACs and above political games: Kirk Caldwell is a threat to our city, our economy, our safety and our way of life.

    IF YOU HAVE NOT YET VOTED, GET OUT THERE. VOTE. VOTE CALDWELL OUT.

  • “Caldwell, who was shaking hands in the parking lot of the Beretania Street Safeway, said an internal poll showed him ahead — but only slightly.”

    LYING TO THE END! Typical Kirk.

    In reality, Kirk’s most expensive internal poll showed him LOSING by 3 points, and the most recent poll showed the margin getting even wider. PRP also paid for a very expensive poll last month, and that showed Kirk LOSING BY SIX POINTS.

    You’re going to witness history tonight, with the first Asian American mayor of Honolulu being elected. What you won’t witness is Kirk’s reaction or concession speech, as when he loses elections he begins sobbing and bawling like a f’ing little girl and has to be escorted off the premises and away from media. I’m not joking. Go ask anyone who was near him on election night 2010.

    In about ten hours, Honolulu will have a new mayor-elect, and we will all be better for it.

    • (I don’t much like either of the candidates but…) Interesting…. I can’t find any polling information since about the time of the primary. Could you include a link to information about the poll you’re saying was paid for by PRP?

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