Hawaii

Articles about voting issues in Hawaii.

Hawaii: Lava prompts election officials to mail absentee voting applications | Hawaii Tribune-Herald

The State Office of Elections and the Hawaii County Elections Division on Monday announced they will be mailing absentee voting applications to more than 6,000 voters assigned to Pahoa Community Center (precinct 04-03) and Pahoa High/Intermediate (precinct 04-04) due to the uncertain nature of the volcanic eruption in lower Puna. Voters can use the absentee application to request a mail ballot for the 2018 elections, or to update their address if they have relocated. Read More

Hawaii: Lawmakers consider conducting Hawaii’s elections entirely by mail | KHON2

Are Hawaii voters ready to cast their votes by mail only? Some lawmakers think so. It’s a measure that’s been proposed and election officials have a strong argument for it. Chief election officer Scott Nago says the numbers show more people are not heading to the polls anymore. Voting by mail would also save the state money. We learned that 62 percent voted absentee during the 2016 primary. For the general election, absentee votes made up 54 percent. Read More

Hawaii: State May Switch To All-Mail Elections In 2020 | Honolulu Civil Beat

A bill that attempts to ramp up Hawaii’s voter turnout by mandating all-mail elections is now headed to  the full House of Representatives. House Bill 2541 cleared the Finance Committee after a hearing Tuesday. The bill calls for eventually mailing out all ballots and closing traditional polling places. The Aloha State has had the worst voter turnout in the country for the last five presidential elections. And just 35 percent of voters participated in the 2014 primary election, a record low. Oregon switched to all-mail ballots 20 years ago and has seen increased voter participation ever since. Washington and Colorado also vote exclusively by mail. Read More

Hawaii: All-Mail Balloting Bill Dies In Final Hour Of Conference | Honolulu Civil Beat

A slew of so-called good government bills cleared a critical legislative hurdle this week and are poised for final approval next week. But the measure that arguably would have had the most significant impact on Hawaii’s democracy did not make it across Friday’s deadline for bills to advance. House Bill 1401 would have enacted voting by mail uniformly across all counties for all elections in 2020.  Rep. Scott Nishimoto, the lead House conferee on the bill as well as its author, told his counterpart, Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran, shortly after 5 p.m. that both lawmakers agreed on many aspects of the bill. But Nishimoto did not get clearance from House leadership, and so HB 1401 will have to wait until next year. Read More

Hawaii: Lawmakers considering bill that would make it the norm | Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Already, nearly half of people who vote in the state do so by mail. “This bill would change the way we vote in Hawaii in an attempt to increase voter participation and reduce costs,” Rep. Chris Todd, D-Hilo, wrote in a Facebook post. “HB 1401 would mean every registered voter receives a ballot in the mail and mails it back in — this process is already available by request, but this bill would make it the norm.” The bill passed third reading and House conferees were appointed to iron out wrinkles. Voters could still cast ballots in person if they prefer. But long lines at polling stations would presumably become a thing of the past. Each eligible voter would be mailed a ballot prior to an election and asked to mail it back. Read More

Hawaii: Lawmakers say mail-in voting could bolster Hawaii’s abysmal vote | Hawaii News Now

Hawaii has the lowest voter turnout rate in the nation, according to a recent study released by Nonprofit VOTE and the U.S. Elections Project. And that’s not a new distinction. The 2016 “America Goes to the Polls” report reveals this is the fifth presidential election in a row in which the state has ranked dead last for voter participation. According to the study, approximately 3 out of 5 eligible voters in Hawaii did not cast a ballot during the last presidential election. The voter turnout rate for the 2016 presidential election was 43 percent. How does that compare to other states or the rest of the country as a whole? Read More

Hawaii: Bill Would Require Recounts In Close Hawaii Elections | Civil Beat News

Dale Kobayashi is still smarting. Six months after narrowly losing a state legislative race to Rep. Isaac Choy, the longtime Manoa resident wishes Hawaii had a recount law on the books. Kobayashi lost to Choy in the Democratic primary in August by 70 votes out of more than 5,400 votes cast. Choy won with 47.6 percent of the vote compared with 46.4 for Kobayashi. “When a race is so close, you want to double-check the count,” Kobayashi said Wednesday. Kobayashi, the son of Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, is already planning to run again in 2018. And if the race is close again, Kobayashi just might get that recount — if a bill making its way through the Legislature this session becomes law. Read More

Hawaii: Lawmakers to again consider vote-by-mail system, automatic voter registration | Hawaii News Now

Last legislative session, two bills aimed at addressing Hawaii’s low voter turnout failed to clear a final hurdle. Not even lawmakers can explain why. “We may not have felt we had the money to do that at this point,” state Sen. Karl Rhoads said. “Then there are people who just don’t think it’s the right move.” The proposed measures would have set up automatic voter registration and transition the state to mostly mail-in ballots. They’ll be introduced again this year. And Common Cause Hawaii is already gathering support for both bills. “People are even more concerned about making sure that their voices are heard and their votes are counted,” executive director Corie Tanida said. Both bills are aimed at addressing Hawaii’s chronically low voter turnout. Hawaii’s turnout in November was 58 percent, down from 62 percent four years earlier.  Read More

Hawaii: Election officials back all-mail process despite rise in uncounted ballots | KHON2

More than a thousand absentee ballots mailed in for the general election were not counted. Despite lingering questions about the process, elections officials will once again push for an all mail-in election. When Always Investigating looked into ballot irregularities for the primary election, we found out several hundred ballots were invalidated over missing or mismatched signatures. For the general election, that more than doubled. Despite that rate, all-mail-in voting is a real possibility. This week, the Hawaii Elections Commission prepares for its first meeting since the election to go over what went right and wrong. The agenda includes an all-mail initiative they’re backing at the Legislature again this year. Read More

Hawaii: Unusual congressional election confuses voters | Associated Press

The death of one of Hawaii’s congressmen has led to an unusual ballot and voter confusion in urban Honolulu.
The rare double election means residents in the 1st Congressional District are selecting someone to fill the late U.S. Rep. Mark Takai’s seat for the two-month unfinished term and someone to represent the district for the next two years. Takai died in office last July. The situation could lead to two different people winning the same House seat on election night, to serve the two different terms. Former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is one of the candidates. The Democrat is hoping to return to her old seat in Congress, which she gave up to run for Senate two years ago. Read More