State of security: Hawaii


Who’s in charge: Chief Election Official Scott Nago

Hawaii has possibly the most unique election issue of any state in the union and it has nothing to do with cybersecurity. Volcanoes.

Earlier this year Hawaiian citizens were reminded to double-check the location of their polling place as the state had to relocate two voting precincts for the primary elections due to continued volcanic activity in the region.

Other than the threat of lava causing voting disruption Hawaii is one of the many states that use paper ballots and voting machines that generate a paper record and the state does require all voting machines be tested using the EAC Voluntary Voting System Guidelines before being put into use.

On the negative side, the state does allow electronic absentee voting and the post-election ballot audit only studies 10 percent of the votes cast. In addition, the state does not force polling place workers to to account for all ballots, whether used, unused or unusable on election night. This would involve comparing the number of ballots cast to the number of voters who signed into the polling place.

The state is also struggling to find enough workers to staff its voting centers. On Oct. 15 the Office of Elections put out a call for 300 volunteers for the Aiea, Kalihi, East Honolulu, Kaneohe, and North Shore areas. These volunteers assist voters to check in, issue ballots, and answer questions.

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