State faces poll
worker shortage

Staff and news reports

With a little more than a month before the Sept. 21 primary election, the state elections office still needs 1,500 poll workers to staff Honolulu's 219 polling places.

Although workers are needed throughout Honolulu, recruitment is lowest in the East Honolulu and Kalihi areas, officials said earlier this week.

"At around this time in 2000, we had about 80 percent of positions filled. Right now, we're about 50 percent," Chief Election Officer Dwayne Yoshina said.

Poll worker recruitment is a challenge faced by elections offices nationwide, but Yoshina said he was uncertain why this year's recruitment in Hawaii is lower than usual.

The elections office normally recruits poll workers from civic and nonprofit groups, the state and county work force, political parties and political campaigns.

"But this year, even the returnees aren't returning," Yoshina said.

Those who want to become poll workers must be registered to vote in Hawaii and be able to read and write English. They must also attend training and pass a certification exam.

Anyone interested in working at the polls can call 453-8683.

State Office of Elections

E-mail to City Desk


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