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Early voting ballot's sticky situationsUPDATED 8:11 PM HST Jul 29, 2014Video Transcript
The primary election could produce some high drama, but right now on the Big Island, it's high humidity that's causing concern. Good evening, and thanks for joining us I'm Kenny Choi, in for Paula Akana. And I'm Yunji de Nies. Only on KITV4... Mother Nature is gumming up the envelopes on absentee ballots! KITV4's Andrew Pereira has more in Commitment 2014... Andrew? Yunji and Kenny elections officials on the Big Island have already replaced dozens of return envelopes for absentee ballots because of the high humidity. 20 Dozens of computers, yards of extension cords, and phones on every desk. The state Capitol is prepping for primary day on Aug. 9 and so is the Office of Elections. But during the 2012 general election, at least 51 polling sites on Oahu ran short of ballots or ran out altogether. SCOTT NAGO: "WE DIDN'T TRACK AS WELL AS WE SHOULD HAVE. IF WE HAD TRACKED OUR BALLOT USAGE THEN SOME OF THOSE THINGS COULD HAVE BEEN ALLEVIATED AND ELIMINATED." Nago says corrections have been made, and all 232 polling sites across the state should have all the ballots they need. SCOTT NAGO: "WE'RE MAKING SURE THAT WE TRACK OUR USAGE MORE ACCURATELY AND PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THAT." On the Big Island, county elections officials continue to track a potentially sticky wicket involving return envelopes for absentee ballots. PAT NAKAMOTO: "WE'VE ALWAYS EXPERIENCED MOISTURE IN THE AIR AND WE'VE HAD ISSUES WITH OUR ENVELOPES BEING STICKY." But with the remnants of tropical systems passing through the islands, humidity has been higher than normal. The gummy weather has resulted in at least 50 return envelopes for absentee ballots sticking shut BEFORE voters can place their ballots inside. PAT NAKAMOTO: "SO, IT DOES SEEM TO BE OCCURRING MORE FOR THE 2014 ELECTION." WE'VE NOTICED THAT MOST OF THE CALLS THAT ARE COMING IN ARE COMING IN FROM THE PUNA DISTRICT." Some Big Island voters expressed concern their votes would not be counted if return envelopes were taped shut, or appeared tampered with. However Big Island elections officials are aware of the issue and say tape or no tape, all absentee ballots will be tallied. Still, each voter must judge the condition of their return envelope. PAT NAKAMOTO: "IF THE ENVELOPE IS TORN BEYOND REPAIR WHERE TAPING IT IS NOT POSSIBLE THEN THEY SHOULD CONTACT OUR OFFICE AND WE WILL REPLACE THE BALLOT. BUT, THEIR VOTES WILL BE COUNTED." Honolulu, Kauai and Maui County have not reported any issues with their absentee return envelopes getting gummed up. So far, more than 163- thousand absentee ballots have been mailed statewide. Of those, more than 52- thousand have been returned. Yunji?