EAt every election, some Hawaiian voters mail in their ballots with a little something in the envelope. Many include notes of kind words: thank you, an explanation, or an apology for hard-to-read handwriting. Other cases look pretty quirky.
Veteran election observer Dennis Kam jokingly refers to them as “love letters,” and that’s definitely true of some. This arrived on bright yellow paper: “Please excuse the messy voting. Mom is 93, in late stages of Parkinson’s disease. Mentally she is sharp. -Daughter.”
Another emerged on pink notepaper: “Aloha my signature is a scribble. If you need verification, I’ll come in with my ID. Mahalo!” One of the funniest this year: “Sorry dog chewed that up.”
With more than 400,000 ballots submitted for the general election, the number of ballots remains fairly modest as the state elections office collected fewer than 50 items during the ballot opening process at the state capitol.
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One neatly handwritten note simply read, “Please don’t discard my vote. At the age of 96 I cannot duplicate my signature which you have on file. Another daughter wrote a note to explain that her father couldn’t sign his name due to a stroke, so she signed for him so his vote would count. She could do this by having her father make a mark in the signature block, then filling in the bottom part with her information as a witness to his mark.
Some arrive without comment. One voter threw in Macy’s Christmas discount passes while another slipped in subway coupons. An envelope contained a penny.
Some just want to do everything at once: “To Whom It May Concern. This was sent to my old address. It’s good that the people who live there are my relatives. Please update my address in your system.” Note to voters: This is NOT the way to change your address for voter registration. Instead, go to elections.hawaii.gov or the County Elections Division.
This year’s side dishes included – ewwww! – a dental floss pick (hopefully unused) as well as a National Air and Space Museum member invitation and a Dear Fellow Patriot questionnaire. There was also a Happy Holidays card.
Some wonder. A man sent in his vaccination confirmation documents. Another contained a straight pin. And if you live in the Punchbowl area and are wondering where you left your insurance card statement for your 1999 Dodge pickup, we suggest you request a new copy, since the two cards you sent in are in the State’s packed up other notes for the coming months.