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Voters must use ballot drop boxes, not Postal Service, to meet Saturday night deadline

FILE - A worker in Honolulu sets up an official ballot drop box for the 2020 general election.
Honolulu Elections Division
FILE - A worker in Honolulu sets up an official ballot drop box for the 2020 general election.

Over the last few weeks, The Conversation has brought you interviews with some of the leading candidates from both parties in the races for governor, lieutenant governor, and the open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. To close out our primary election coverage, we spoke with Hawaiʻi's Chief Election Officer Scott Nago.

As of Friday morning, he said more than 250,000 ballots have been sent in — down about 20% compared to the 2020 election. The midterms normally draw smaller turnouts than presidential election years.

"As far as processing ballots, we're keeping up with what we've received. So what we're currently processing are the ballots we received in the mail and at drop boxes yesterday," Nago told HPR. "So far, we're keeping up."

Nago said over 7,000 people are signed up for the tracking system BallotTrax.

"Basically you can sign up to receive alerts via text, email or voice. It will let you know when your ballot has been received, processed and ready for counting," he said.

Nago stressed it is now too late to mail in your ballot and make the 7 p.m. deadline on Saturday. You must physically deposit your ballot at a drop box or your vote won’t count.

But if you are standing in line at a voter service center prior to 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote in person.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Aug. 12, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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