With less than one month to go until the primary election, election officials tested each one of the voting machines being used on Oahu to make sure votes are counted correctly.
It's a time-consuming and tedious process, but a critical exercise in this primary election preparations. It's a civic duty that volunteer election observer Clifton Chun takes seriously.
"We're like the eyes and ears for the public observers for the elections, so we watch closely," said Chun.
Twenty official observers who are volunteers from various political parties, civic and community groups cast test ballots in the 390 voting machines that will be used on Oahu on August 11.
"This verifies the logic that the machine is counting properly, that everything is OK and that voters can expect a secure, open and honest election," said Scott Nago, state Chief Election Officer.
There are 188 electronic voting machines and 202 paper based voting counting machines, the same amount as in the last election.
This is the third election cycle the state is using hardware and support from HART Intercivic.
After testing the machine, each one is locked and sealed in multiple ways. By the time they're done, 777 security devices will be used to protect the public's votes.
Because of a new federal law., this is the first year the primary election is being held in August, to give more time for ballots to be counted for the general election.
The deadline to register for the primary election has passed, but you can still apply for an absentee ballot for the primary until August 4.
"It just means we have less time between the general election of last year and the primary of this year. Also, reapportionment caused us to have to compress our time line, but we're running on track," said Nago.
Voting machine testing on the neighbor islands will be held next week.