VIDEO: State’s Hawaii County election takeover in effect

Ballots depart the state building in Hilo at 5 a.m.

Video by David Corrigan

HILO, Hawaii: Tuesday will be an historic election on Hawaii Island for a number of reasons.

The Aloha State is ready to send two – maybe three – women to Washington for the first time ever. Also, in another apparent first here on the Big Island, the state is taking over election day duties, after rescinding its delegation of election of those duties to the county.

The Hawaii State Office of Elections made the unprecedented decision to take over in early October, following the county’s apparent problems that led to the late openings of polling places on primary election day.

County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi, who oversees the Elections Division, became a lightning rod for criticism and political attacks.

Now, the county needs only to concern itself with the early walk in-voting and absentee ballot process.

The actual election will be administered by the state in the old state building in Hilo, right next to the county building. On Saturday, elections staff and consultants were busy in this vacant rooms, brushing up on procedure with Hawaii’s designated election day observers.

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And this was the scene at the state building on Election Day (right)… in the wee hours before dawn…

The wheels of the election process were set in motion, as ballot boxes were gathered up and loaded onto buses for transport to different precincts around the island.

You may recall similar video filmed on the morning of the primary vote… when workers appeared confused, in the hours before various island polling places opened late. This was the first phase of “delivery and collection” – in August it was run out of the county building, where it normally is done.

Today, we saw many of the same faces…  however this time the process appeared to be more organized.

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