LIHU‘E — Arnold Meister waited for the Voter Service Center to open before dropping off his general election ballot.
“I could’ve done it earlier,” Meister said Tuesday morning. “But this is closer to the elections office.”
Meister was one of a steady stream of voters frequenting the Voter Service Center when it opened for business in the Pi‘ikoi Building of the Lihu‘e Civic Center.
Open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Nov. 2, the VSC allows voters an opportunity to register and vote on the same day.
On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Election Day, the Voter Service Center will open at 7 a.m. and remain open until 7 p.m., or if there is a line of people intending to vote at 7 p.m., all voters waiting in that line will be accommodated.
Access to the Voter Service Center is through the roll-up door facing Hardy Street, to minimize foot traffic through the Pi‘ikoi Building and, due to social-gathering guidelines, voters utilizing the VSC may experience longer-than-desired wait times because only a limited number of voters will be allowed to enter the voting area at any given time.
Voters are also reminded that the use of face masks is strongly encouraged, and people must maintain six feet of separation from nearby individuals.
Ballots for the general election were mailed to voters earlier in October, and if a voter has not yet received a ballot, they should contact the Office of the County Clerk Elections Division at 241-4800.
Voters are encouraged to return their ballots as soon as possible through the U.S. mail, or by depositing them in any of the ballot drop boxes located around the island, including one at the VSC.
Additionally, the VSC provides access for those voters who need access to a voting device, as well as providing another ballot drop box site.
Four new ballot drop box sites have been added to the list of locations that include the Hanalei Neighborhood Center, Princeville fire station, the Kilauea Neighborhood Center, the Kapa‘a fire station, the Elections Division office located adjacent to the Historic County Building, Koloa Neighborhood Center, the Kalaheo fire station, Hanapepe fire station and Waimea Neighborhood Center.
Ballots can also be hand-delivered to the Elections Division officers weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Election Day, the office will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.
Lyndon Yoshioka, county elections administrator, said he anticipates a lot more ballots arriving with less than two weeks remaining before Election Day.
“As of Monday afternoon, we received approximately 8,100 ballots,” Yoshioka said in response to a TGI inquiry. “Given 47,253 registered voters, we’re already at approximately 17 percent voter turnout with two weeks to the general election.”