Votes trickling in with one week left: Here’s what you need to know

  • Jon Henricks

  • Elections officials and volunteers test vote-tallying equipment July 16 in Hilo (Nancy Cook Lauer/West Hawaii Today)

With about a week left to vote on national, state and local races, a little more than 11% of the 112,630 Hawaii Island ballots mailed out have already been returned, and 19% of the 739,000 mailed ballots statewide, according to election officials.

Voters still have numerous options to vote between now and when the last person in line at polling places at 7 p.m. Saturday casts their ballot.


“All indications are that voters have smoothly transitioned into our second season of voting by mail,” County Clerk Jon Henricks said Friday. “Of the more than 21,000 ballots received by our office thus far, 99.9% were delivered via mail or collected from election drop boxes located throughout Hawaii Island.”

Henricks urged voters who intend to mail back their ballot, rather than drop it off at one of the many locations islandwide, to get it in the mail by Tuesday to ensure it will arrive on time.

“Our office must have physical custody of the voted ballot in its signed return envelope by 7:00 p.m. on August 13, 2022,” he said.

Hawaii Island’s voter service centers are at the West Hawaii Civic Center in Kailua-Kona and the Aupuni Center in Hilo. They’re open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Saturday. Voters can drop off their ballots or vote at the voter service centers.

There are drop-off sites, known in election vernacular as “place of deposit,” are open 24 hours a day. They’re located at the county building in Hilo, the Naalehu police station, Pahoa police station, Rodney Yano Hall in Captain Cook, Waikoloa Community Association and Waimea police station. Ballots can also be dropped off at the voter service centers.

New this election are features allowing voters to sign up for text, voice or email alerts about the status of their voted ballots.

The new features may be especially important this year, when the decennial reapportionment and redistricting process has put some voters — and some candidates — into different districts and put all seats in the state Legislature on the ballot, instead of the staggered terms the Senate usually experiences.

Ballot tracking has also become more popular with some national and local candidates trying to sow doubt about the integrity of the election process.

Henricks said the county began counting ballots at the counting center Tuesday, with more than 12,000 ballots counted. Counting will continue, and the state Office of Elections is expected to start releasing preliminary numbers shortly after all polls have closed Saturday.

“It was truly a pleasure to see our community show up and work in unison, as a team with the single objective of doing everything the right way. Our volunteers and observers are your family, friends, and neighbors,” Henricks said. “They step up for the people of HawaiiIsland to ensure that ballots are handled and counted with integrity and precision. They are simply terrific.”

More information about voting can be found at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email