Hawaiʻi voters will soon have the opportunity to register to vote at early voting sites and polling places, under a measure that gained final passage in the Hawaiʻi Legislature. Representative Kaniela Ing of South Maui who introduced House Bill 2590 celebrated the bill’s passage saying in a press release announcement, “Hawaiʻi was number one for voter turnout during the 1960s. 50 years later, we are dead last. This bill moves to end this shameful distinction and foster a stronger public voice. We need to take our turnout and turn it around.” Under the election reform measure, residents would be allowed to register to vote at early voting locations in 2016 and at all election day polling places in 2018.
The state recorded a 61.9% voter turnout in the 2012 General Election — including a 33.5% precinct and 28.4% absentee turnout. In the 2012 General Election, Maui’s voter turnout was even lower at 56.8% — including a 35.9% precinct and 21% absentee turnout.
Ing called the measure an “effective short-term solution” to low voter turnout saying, “There are all kinds of reasons folks do not vote, but arbitrary, outdated registration deadlines should not be one of them. Bold action is underway to educate citizens and increase civic engagement, but this solution promises the most instant impact.”
Full Article: Hawaiʻi Approves Same-Day Voter Registration | Maui Now.