Early walk-in voting underway

Mark Arthur has been voting in elections for 50 years, and as a Kauai resident, he believes it’s his responsibility to himself,

his community and his country. 

“If you don’t vote, then you’re responsible for the outcome,” Arthur said Thursday.

Voters registered for the Nov. 4 general election can take advantage of early walk-in voting through Nov. 1. 

So far, turnout has been good. About 250 voters came out Tuesday, about 270 on Wednesday and officials were predicting more than 300 on Thursday.

There’s much at stake on Kauai, with seven council posts, three legislative seats and the mayor’s office up for election. Statewide, Hawaii will be electing a new governor, too.

“We do put in a lot of time, effort and research,” elections administrator Lyndon Yoshioka said. “We would love for people to take advantage of our resources.” 

Physical ballots are presented to residents who come to the annex, along with electronic ballots for those who prefer to vote via computer. 

The electronic ballots “are very efficient and move through quickly,” said 25-year voter Kristina Caminos.

She said they “seem more accurate and they make no mistakes in checking; if you change your mind, you can easily change your vote.” 

In addition to the advantages of the different ballots, some residents believe in the benefits of early voting.

“What you run into is that some people go to the polls and they haven’t made up their minds on what they want to do,” Arthur said. “The more time you have to vote, the more time you have to make up your mind.”

Election officials are expecting many will cast their ballots before the general election.

“Overall, we did see an increase in absentee ballots,” Yoshioka said. “So it would be reasonable to assume that the more you send, the more will be returned.” 

Walk-in voters can visit the Historic County annex basement, 4386 Rice Street. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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