Spotlight Hawaii featured two guests to discuss the upcoming primary election on August 8th: Hawaii Office of Elections chief officer Scott Nago, followed by Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Gordon Pang.
Nago says his office has already started to process ballots that are arriving for the state’s first all mail-in election. He reminded the public that ballots must be received, not postmarked, by 7 p.m. on election day in order to be counted. He recommends mailing ballots at least five days before election day to make sure they received on time. His office has also set up a number of large drop boxes across the state, where voters can deposit their ballots as late as 7 p.m. on election day.
“Those ballots that are dropped off in those drop boxes are picked up daily by election officials,” Nago said. “Also voters can log on to our website to see if their ballot was received. So you can actually track your ballot to make sure it was received, accepted and processed for counting, as well as download your virtual ‘I voted’ sticker.”
To find a dropbox, track your ballot, or to find out how to register and vote same day, visit elections.hawaii.gov.
Gordon Pang, who has covered Honolulu city politics since 1995, joined the second half of the livestream, to offer his insights on the upcoming primary. He spoke about the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s poll, which shows Rick Blangiardi and Colleen Hanabusa in the lead for Honolulu mayor, but also found that 20% of voters are still undecided.
“Cleary when speaking to voters, the pandemic is on everyone’s mind and what they’re looking for is a leader that can lead Oahu beyond the pandemic, and be able to cope with the after effects,” Pang said.
Pang says that he is also paying close attention to candidate fundraising. The latest campaign finance reports are due at midnight, and he expects a large infusion of cash for the top candidates across the board.
Pang also spoke about the race for Honolulu city prosecutor, and the large number of open Honolulu City Council seats.
“We’re talking about five seats, which is the majority of the Council. This is really gonna shape what City Hall’s policies are going to look like in the next four years,” Pang said. “There’s five races, I think in at least four, possibly all five, they’re gonna go into the general and they’re completely unpredictable.”
Spotlight Hawaii, which shines a light on issues affecting Hawaii, airs live 10:30 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Watch previous conversations.