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UPDATE: 10:37 p.m.
The second printout results are out now. View the returns here. Democrat Josh Green claimed 63.73% of the votes over Vicky Cayetano and Kai Kahele. Republican Duke Aiona received 51.87% of the votes over BJ Penn and Heidi Tsuneyoshi.
Election officials tell the Star-Advertiser the second printout results are expected soon. Lanai and Molokai voter center results will not be included, but Kona’s will be.
Election officials say there will be a delay in the second printout which was expected between 10 and 10:30 p.m. Officials want to include as many votes as possible, said Nedielyn Bueno with the Office of Elections Voter Services.
Ballots are being flown from Molokai and Lanai to Maui. Ballots from Kona are being driven to Hilo where they will be counted.
At the state Capitol, the ballots in cages were counted by 3 p.m. today. But at 8:45 p.m., things started bustling when machines containing voter data were brought in and unlocked. Paper ballots are being reviewed as part of an audit.
The second printout is due out between 10 and 10:30 pm. That contains roughly 9,000 ballots from those who cast their ballots in person today.
Sylvia Luke held a commanding 10-point lead in the hotly-contested race for the Democratic nomination for Hawaii’s lieutenant governor. She was followed by Ikaika Anderson, Keith Amemiya, and Sherry Menor-McNamara.
Former state lawmaker Jill Tokuda defeated first-term state Rep. Patrick Branco in the race for the Democratic nomination in the U.S. House District 2 race to replace U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele. The race attracted an onslaught of negative advertisement and outside PAC money aimed at defeating Tokuda. With 90% of the vote counted, Tokuda held a nearly 30% lead.
She will face off against Republican winner Joe Akana.
In the other Congressional races, incumbent Democrats U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Ed Case beat out lesser-known opponents and will be heading to the general election. Schatz will face Republican state Rep. Bob McDermott; Case is likely to face Republican Conrad Kress.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green cruised to victory for the Democratic nomination for governor tonight, and will face off in November against James “Duke” Aiona, the former lieutenant governor and retired judge, according to the first results in Hawaii’s 2022 primary election.
With more than 90% of the mostly mail-in ballots counted in tonight’s first print-out, Green held a commanding 42-point lead over businesswoman Vicky Cayetano, with U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele in third place.
Aiona handily defeated political newcomer and former MMA champion BJ Penn, and Honolulu City Councilmember Heidi Tsuneyoshi.
>> SEE THE FULL RESULTS
State Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago says the long line in Wailuku may delay the release of the first results of today’s primary election.
Only Wailuku is reporting a long line.
It was quiet at the State Capitol where Nago said: “We’re caught up with everything that came in the mail and dropped off at the boxes yesterday.”
State officials expect the first printout will have over 90% of the votes cast so far. Anyone voting in-person today will have their ballots counted in the second printout.
Anyone in line prior to 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote, Nago said. First results will be released after the last voter in line at 7 p.m. casts their ballot.
Nago says he is not sure when Wailuku’s voting center will close.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Green was seen at his campaign headquarters greeting supporters in Waikiki prior to the first printout, which is expected shortly after 7 p.m. Republican gubernatorial candidate Duke Aiona was spotted waving shakas earlier this afternoon at the intersection of Fort Weaver Road and Laulaunui Street.
The state Office of Elections said with the exception of Wailuku, Maui, there have been no other reports of long lines from other counties in Hawaii.
Though folks in Maui County have had the opportunity to vote in person since Aug. 1, there is only one location for Maui, at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center on Waena Street in Wailuku.
Maui County Clerk Kathy Kaohu said several factors are contributing to the number of residents choosing to vote in person.
There are more than the usual full slates of candidates facing off in the primary election, she wrote in an email, and the candidates, parties and election organizers have done a successful job encouraging voters to vote in person specifically on Election Day itself, even though the voter service center in Wailuku has been open since Aug. 1.
“The County Clerks Office had been given a heads up to prepare for a wave of voters preparing to vote in person,” she said in an email. “In preparation of that we hired Temporary Election Clerks, Contracted a Temporary Employment Services provider, and solicited the general public to participate as ‘stipend volunteer’ election workers, including school age students 16 years and older.”
All people that are in line by 7 p.m. in Wailuku and statewide will still be allowed to vote.
In-person voting at Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale continues to be light this evening. Voters who are on line 7 p.m. at any in-person voting site across the state will be allowed to cast their ballot. The state Office of Elections will not release the first vote count until after the last person on line at 7 p.m. votes. Elections officials have said they expect that first printout of results to include about 90% of the votes cast in Hawaii’s second mostly vote-by-mail election.
There were no lines at Honolulu Hale at mid-morning today, as a steady stream of residents walked in or drove by to either drop off their ballots or vote in person.
Voting opened at 7 a.m. for those who wanted to do it in-person at either Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale on Oahu for the last day of the Hawaii primary today, and will be available through 7 p.m.
“At 7 a.m., we had a short line,” said Honolulu City Clerk Glenn Takahashi, “but that quickly disappeared when we opened.”
As of 11 a.m., Takahashi estimated 850 had voted in person at both the Honolulu and Kapolei sites.
Others were either walking by or taking advantage of the drive-thru to drop off their ballots in the yellow dropbox in front of Honolulu Hale, one of 15 locations available throughout Oahu.
The ballots can also be dropped off until 7 p.m. today.
Many, like Cathy Schwarz of Nuuanu, were dropping off their ballots on the last day simply because they have been busy.
Schwarz said she’s been “busy with life” as she works multiple jobs, helps her parents, and cares for a disabled husband.
“So I have a lot on my plate,” she said as she walked up to the dropbox at Honolulu Hale with her ballot. “That’s why it’s important to get someone in there who’s willing to help people with cost of living and stop selling to foreign investors and tourists who live here two months out of the year.”
Antonia Agbannawag of Kakaako walked over with her dog, Tiger, to drop off her ballot.
She likes the ability to fill out a ballot in the comfort of home, but wanted to physically walk over to Honolulu Hale to drop it off today.
“I love the fanfare of primary day,” she said. “I love filling out my ballot just before making the best decision that we can and then coming to the polls.”
This is a pivotal year, she said, and she wanted to wait until the last moment to make her decision.
“We have a new governor and lieutenant governor,” she said. “Obviously, we’ll find out who’s running together for the general but also nearly every seat for House and Senate is up for grabs and it could be a clean slate.”
For others, like Margaret and Brad Hovas of Manoa, it was important to vote in person to ensure their votes were properly counted.
“Basically, we don’t trust mail-in voting,” said Brad Hovas, saying he did not support the state’s decision to do so. “In a democracy, if an individual feels that they have the ability to participate, it becomes something of a specific event in their life. They want to vote in person.”
Margaret Hovas said additionally that voting in person brings a community together.
“Growing up, I would always go with my mom or my dad to vote and we knew all the ladies and we talked to them all, and they lived in our neighborhoods,” she said. “And so we used to go to Noelani and sometimes we’d see neighbors we hadn’t seen in a while and I miss that. And I think that keeps us together as a community. We can see and interact with our neighbors to do what we consider a right, a privilege, and a duty to our country.”
Those who voted in person said all went smoothly, and overall that it was an easy-in and easy-out process without long lines or waits.
David Kihara of Honolulu said after walking over, it only took about 10 minutes to vote in person. He said it was satisfying to witness his ballot go through the machine personally, and to know it was counted.
“It’s like a reinforcement of what I personally believe,” he said. “After what happened in the 2020 election, for my vote, I wanted to see it go through.”
Likewise, Michelle Stuebben, who usually votes absentee, said she and her husband drove to Honolulu Hale from Marine Corps Base Hawaii to cast their votes in person.
“This is my first time showing up in person, and it was important to me to show up in person,” she said. “There’s some history in ballots being dropped off in boxes and then you don’t really know whose hands they’re in after that. Just trying to protect election integrity was really important to me.”
Staff writers Nina Wu and Leila Fujimori contributed to this report.
Go to https://staradvertiser.com/election for updates, resources and live results from today’s Hawaii Primary Election.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism