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Wednesday, November 8, 2000

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
In the basement of the state Capitol last night, election
workers verify ballots coming into the counting center.

Hawaii officials
like performance
of voting system

Problems were handled
quickly, and the results got
out almost on time


By Treena Shapiro

State elections didn't go as smoothly as hoped, but officials said they're pleased they got the election results turned in almost on time.

Flag Button art Staff from both the elections office and Election Systems & Software were able to deal promptly with all glitches in the election, including a couple of misplaced poll books, a half-dozen malfunctioning machines and two forgotten computer cards, said chief elections officer Dwayne Yoshina.

Voter lists were used in place of poll books and machines were swapped out in a half-hour, he said. Both the missing cards were located -- one in the machine at the precinct and the other at one of the checkpoints on the way to the state Capitol.

Early in the evening, things didn't look promising for the election staff.

The first report was ready as scheduled at 6:30 p.m., but the results were held until all precincts were closed. But by 8 p.m., two precincts hadn't called in, and elections officials weren't willing to release results while voters may have still been in line to vote.

But while long lines were a factor in the tardy printout, Yoshina said the 90-minute wait could have been the result of officials at some precincts forgetting to call in when they closed.

Election Systems & Software President Aldo Tesi said the ballot-counting system worked "extremely well."

Six machines had to be replaced early in the morning, but since the computer card can be transferred between machines, it didn't affect the tally.

"The system is designed so we never lose a vote," he said.

Overall, the election went well, said election observer Dennis Kam of the Hawaii Newspaper Agency. "From my perspective, (it was) pretty good because there were no big, major problems," he said.

A manual audit of absentee ballots in one race matched the computer results, he said.

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