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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Voting and advocacy resources by librarians for librarians

Voter Registration in Hawai‘i

Eligibility

  • Age: Pre-registration at 16, must be 18 years of age by election day to vote.
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Residence: Must be a bona-fide resident of Hawai‘i to vote.
  • College students who are Hawai‘i residents attending college outside the state can request an absentee ballot.
  • Formerly incarcerated individuals: "A voter sentenced for a felony, from the time of the person’s sentence until the person’s final discharge, may not vote in an election. However, if a person is placed on probation or the person is paroled after commitment to imprisonment, the person may register and  vote during the period of the probation or parole."
  • Check to see if you are already registered

More information on Hawai‘i voter eligibility

Deadline

  • Voter registration deadlines are determined by the date of the election.
  • August 3, 2022 is the registration deadline for the 2022 primary election.
  • October 31, 2022 is the registration deadline for the 2022 general election.
  • Registration Guidelines
  • Election Calendar
  • Hawaiʻi offers election-day registration at Voter Service Centers.

Online registration

To use the online voter registration system you must have a current and valid Hawai‘i Driver's license or Hawai‘i state ID.

Online registration form (in English, Chinese, Tagalog, and Ilocano)

Mail-in registration

Printable forms (in English, Chinese, Tagalog, and Ilocano)

Refer to the box below for information about ID requirements.

Choosing a political party   

You are not required to indicate a political party affiliation when registering to vote.            

Updating registration      

To update registration after a move, name change, or change of political party affiliation, use the voter registration form.

Cancelling registration

The Clerk's office in each county maintains the voter rolls. To remove someone from a voter roll, contact the local Clerk's office.

ID Requirements for Hawai‘i Voters

ID Requirements for Registration

Online Registration

For online voter registration, a Hawaiʻi drivers license or state ID is required, and you must enter your Social Security number.

Mail-in Registration

If you have a Hawaiʻi drivers license or state ID, you must provide its number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Voting

Voting by Mail

In 2019, voting by mail was established under Act 136. All registered voters receive a mail-in ballot approximately 18 days prior to the election. Ballots may be returned by postal mail or dropped off at a county Voter Service Center or in a ballot drop box. "Voted ballots must be received by your County Elections Division by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day."

In Person Voting

"Vote in-person by visiting any Voter Service Center in your county. Voter service centers are open 10 days through Election Day for in-person voting, same day registration and accessible voting."

More information on voting by mail

Provisional Voting

A provisional ballot is used:

  • Voter’s name does not appear on the official list of registered voters; or
  • An election official asserts that the voter is not eligible to vote.

Fail-Safe Voting

"A fail-safe voter is a person who is a first-time voter who has mailed the voter registration application and has not provided the required HAVA identification either at the time of registration, at the polling place, or when returning a voted absentee ballot. In such a situation, the voter is able to submit a provisional ballot. The voter must provide the Clerk’s Office acceptable identification for the ballot to be counted, by the following deadlines:

Primary Election: August 22, 2022
General Election: November 15, 2022"

More Information on provisional voting

Where to get an ID

IDs are issued by the County Department of Motor Vehicles

Obtaining a Driver’s License

Information about voter registration and voting for individuals experiencing houselessness is available on the Office of Elections website.

Casting a Ballot in Hawai‘i

Important Dates

  • Primary Election: August 13, 2022
  • General Election: November 8, 2022
  • Voter Service Centers are open 10 days before the election. Dates of operation:
    Primary Election: August 1-13, 2022
    General Election: October 25-November 8, 2022

Absentee voting

Who is eligible to use an absentee ballot?

"Voters who are away from their Hawaiʻi residence during the election may submit an Absentee Application to have their ballot mailed to an alternate mailing address for the primary election, general election, or both."

Opening/closing dates

  • The application for an absentee ballot must be received by the county elections office 7 days prior to the election.
  • Deadlines for requesting an absentee ballot:
    • Primary: August 6, 2022
    • General: November 1, 2022
  • Absentee ballots may be returned by mail or in person as described on the Voting tab above.  Ballots must be received by the county elections office by 7:00 p.m. on election day.
    • Mail - voters should mail their completed ballot days before the election.
    • Voter Service Center - voters may visit any voter service center within their county to drop off ballots.
    • Clerk's Office - ballots may be returned directly to their clerk's office.

Military voters and voters who reside outside the U.S.

  • Military and overseas voters must request a ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at least 7 days prior to the election. 
  • Overseas ballots must be received by the County Elections Division by 7:00 p.m. on election day in order to be counted.
  • More information for military and overseas voters

To update mailing address use registration form (English, Chinese, Tagalog, or Ilocano)

Polling places and hours

Help for voters with disabilities

Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • State law requires that partisan candidates for office be nominated in a primary election. Partisan = affiliated with a political party.
  • In Hawai‘i, primaries are known as Single Party Primary Elections. When you vote in a primary election, you may select only one party's ballot on which to mark your votes for partisan candidates. Voting for candidates in more than one party will invalidate your ballot. For example, in a primary election, you cannot vote for a Green Party candidate for governor and a Libertarian candidate for state Senate. You must choose only one party and you may only vote for candidates affiliated with that one party.
  • In Hawai‘i, a voter does not need to be a member of a political party in order to vote in that party’s primary.
  • In a general election, voters are not required to select a party affiliation and may vote for candidates affiliated with any party or for nonpartisan candidates.

Jurisdiction

Offices/Measures That May Appear on the Ballot

Federal (even years)

President/Vice-President (elected every four years; next election in 2024)

Senator (elected every six years for staggered terms; next election in 2022)

Representative (elected every two years, next election in 2022)

State (even years)

State Senate (elected every four years, next election in 2022 due to redistricting)

State House of Representatives (elected every two years, next election in 2022)

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee (elected every 4 years, next election in 2022)

County (even years)

Mayor (elected every 4 years)

Prosecuting Attorney (elected every 4 years)

County council Member (elected every 2 or 4 years)

Refer to the Hawai‘i elections calendar to learn which county offices are on the ballot in 2022.

List of elected officials in Hawai‘i and their terms of office

County charter amendments Next ballot in 2022. See each county's charter amendments.
State Constitution amendments No proposed amendments in 2022

Who are the candidates, and what else is on the ballot?

Who conducts elections?

  • The County Election Divisions are responsible for conducting elections, voter registration, mailing and receipt of ballots, places of deposit and voter service centers.
  • The Hawai‘i Office of Elections is responsible for candidate filing, printing and counting of ballots.

Election Laws

Hawai‘i election laws

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

The Hawai‘i Office of Elections should be contacted "by any person who believes that there is a violation of provision of title III of the Help America Vote Act, including violations which have occurred, are occurring, or about to occur."

Campaign finance

The Hawai‘i Campaign Spending Commission provides access to candidates’ election committee, ballot committee, and Political Action Committee campaign finance filings.

How to contact your elected officials:

Find your state senator or representative

Guide to Hawai‘i Government lists all federal, state, and county officials.

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Election Protection Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) (Asian multilingual assistance)

1-844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287) (Arabic)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

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These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

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