They folded, but they didn’t spindle or mutilate.
State and county election workers, voting equipment representatives and volunteer observers put marked-up paper ballots through the mill Saturday morning as they participated in the statewide testing of ballot counting equipment.
The testing was paying particular attention to folded ballots, said state Counting Center Manager Terrance Noda. With so many people voting by mail, it’s more important than ever that folded ballots can be read by the equipment, he said.
Election Day voting has become less and less of the trend, as more people choose to vote using absentee ballots by mail or at early voting walk-in sites. In the 2012 primary in Hawaii County, 43,353 people voted, or 42.6 percent of those registered.
Just under 20 percent of registered voters went to the precinct on Election Day for the 2012 primary, compared to 23 percent who voted by mail or at early walk-in sites.
Hawaii County Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto said her office mailed out 23,075 absentee mail ballots and received back 12,014 as of Saturday.
Also as of Saturday, 2,395 voters have voted at the walk-in sites.
Early walk-in voting for the primary election continues Monday through Thursday.
In Kailua-Kona, early walk-in voting is available at the West Hawaii Civic Center’s Community Room, Building G, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The civic center is located at 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway.
In South Kohala, early walk-in voting is available at the Waimea Community Center between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The center is located at 65-1260 Kawaihae Road in Waimea.
The Pahala Community Center will be open for early walk-in voting between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m, with the exception of a lunch hour between noon and 1 p.m. The center is located at 96-1149 Kamani St. in Pahala.
In Hilo, early walk-in voting is available at the Aupuni Center Conference Room between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The center is located at 101 Pauahi St. in Hilo.