Gov. Neil Abercrombie says his administration will propose voting entirely by mail in the wake of snafus during both the Primary and General Elections this year. The Attorney General’s Office will also be launching an investigation into the State Office of Elections, in addition to the Elections Commission asking its own questions. From the late-opening Big Island polling places in the primary to the ballot shortages in the General Election, many voters say they’re fed up with how Hawaii elections are run. “My first thought when it happened was am I really in the USA?,” voter Michelle Bartell said.
This from a voter who was at one of the precincts that ran out of ballots for hours and when they finally arrived, got voted upon and turned into the machines, officials realized too late for many that the ballots were for the wrong precinct.
“I’ll do whatever I can to do absentee or mail-in, but the experience of going to the polling place, that’s really it for me,” Bartell said.
If the governor has his way, that fix could come about through all-by-mail voting. He says he will submit a bill for it in January as part of the administration’s legislative package. Other states like Washington and Oregon vote this way.
“It’s a sensible, cost-effective, tried and true way of doing things. It’s not brand new to us. We certainly can look to other jurisdictions as to how to make that as efficient as possible,” Abercrombie said.
The Office of Elections said it “takes no position on the matter as it is a policy issue for the legislature to consider.”