Primary voters get an early start

Walk-in voting and the receipt of mail-in ballots was going “kind of slow” Thursday, the deadline for walk-ins, said Maui County Clerk Danny Mateo.

But that’s consistent with two years ago, when many voters waited until the last minute to take advantage of absentee voting options, he said.

“We’re looking forward to a busy day” today, he said, when the Clerk’s Office expects a flood of mail-in ballots. “In the last minute, we get this rush . . . We’re hoping for a good amount of return absentee ballots.”

Mateo added that elections officials expect Saturday to be “very busy.”

Voters could mail in their ballots Thursday or even today, and elections officials should receive them in time to count them Saturday, primary election day, Mateo said. U.S. postal officials prioritize the delivery of absentee ballots, he said.

He noted that when people register to vote, they have an option of requesting an absentee ballot, and the Clerk’s Office sent out 20,000 mail-in ballots.

On Saturday, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The first voting results are expected as early as 6:30 p.m., although elections officials don’t release statewide results until all voters who are in line at the polls have voted.

On election night, Akaku Maui Community Media will provide live coverage of the primary election beginning at 6 p.m. with a “giant outdoor screen” at the Akaku Center on Dairy Road in Kahului. The coverage will be telecast on cable Channels 53, 54 and 55, on radio on KAKU 88.5 FM and via live streaming at www.akaku.org.

Kathy Collins and Jeff King will host the telecast. For more information, call 871-5554.

Also, radio station KAOI 1110 AM, 96.7 FM and 96.5 west side will air election results. The program will be hosted by author and producer Cindy Paulos and Maui Breakfast Club host Tom Blackburn-Rodrigues. It will feature live segments from KHON TV on Oahu with statewide results hosted by Joe Moore.

For radio coverage, candidates and voters are welcome to stop by the KAOI studio at 1900 Main St. in Wailuku. Or, they can call the studio at 242-7800 or send a text to 283-4570.

To listen on the internet, go to kaoi1110.com and click on “listen live” in the upper-right-hand corner; or click on “recently added” and scroll down to the Breakfast Club.

The Maui News will provide up-to-date election results on its website www.mauinews.com.