WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Even though voter service centers have been open for weeks, Maui County election officials are preparing for in-person voting Tuesday.
On Monday, officials and volunteers were trying to avoid the problems they faced in the August primary.
“We have lots of signs to let voters know they need to be here,” Maui County Clerk Kathy Kaohue said.
Monday at the Voter Services Center in Wailuku, there were more signs and crowd control measures compared to the primary election.
“Today we are seeing a steady increase in visitors and our coupon is fully operational today as well,” Kaohu said.
During the initial period, a line snaked around the Velma McVain Santos Community Center.
Kaohu said election officials hope to be better prepared this time.
About 27,000 voters cast their ballots in Saturday’s latest test. Kaohu expects that number to exceed 30,000 by the end of Monday.
The mayoral race is expected to be a tight one.
Incumbent Michael Victorino is facing tough challenger retired judge Richard Bissen.
“In Maui, we have some interesting situations because presidents don’t always win,” said Maui political analyst Dick Meier.
Traditionally, it is difficult to beat a sitting president. “Presidents have real advantages. One of them is that they have name recognition. They have been in this position for several years,” Mayer said. “So they have a lot of name recognition that goes out.”
But it turns out Maui’s politics aren’t so traditional. Only one of Maui’s four past mayors has been re-elected – Alan Arakawa – when he ran for mayor for the second time in 2011.
“We have three cases now,” Mayer said. “Kimo Apana, Charmaine Tavares and Alan Arakawa, who all lost after a while.”
Bissen beat Victorino early, but there’s no telling what will happen on Tuesday.
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