Interest is growing in the upcoming election.
More than 5,000 Hawaii Country residents who didn’t vote in the primary election have registered to vote in the general, as of Monday’s voter registration deadline.
Hawaii County ballots were mailed Wednesday and should be showing up in voters’ mailboxes today and Saturday, said county Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto. Registered voters who haven’t received their ballots in the mail by Oct. 16 should call the Elections Division at 961-8277.
The one-sheet ballot is packed with candidates from the presidential race at the top of the ballot to congressional, state and local races, as well as candidates for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
On the flip side, there are 16 Hawaii County charter amendments. There are no state constitutional amendments on this year’s ballot. Information on the ballot amendments, including recaps of testimony pro and con for each, can be found at the League of Women voters of Hawaii County’s website, https://bit.ly/2SEHEGC.
Election Day is Nov. 3, but there are several ways voters can return their ballots before then.
If you plan to mail your ballot back, do so by Oct. 27 at the latest, to ensure it reaches the Elections Division on time. The ballot has to be received — not postmarked — by 7 p.m. Nov. 3. You can check to see if your ballot has been received by checking https://ballotstatus.hawaii.gov.
Ballots can also be dropped off at boxes — called “places of deposit” in the law — from Oct. 14 through Election Day. Ballots are collected daily. Drop boxes are located at the Hawaii County building in Hilo, Naalehu police station, Pahoa police station, Rodney Yano Hall in Captain Cook, Waimea police station and the West Hawaii Civic Center.
After complaints from voting rights groups and others, two new drop boxes were added after the primary election: North Kohala police station and Laupahoehoe police station.
There are now 127,337 voters registered. But would-be voters who missed the deadline can still register at either of the island’s two voter service centers, provided they vote immediately after completing the voter registration process.
Completed mailed ballots can be taken to a voter service center, where people can also vote in person using equipment that is physically accessible to eligible voters with disabilities and elderly voters.
Voter service centers at the West Hawaii Civic Center in Kailua-Kona and Aupuni Center in Hilo will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday from Oct. 20 to Nov. 2. Those two sites will also be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3.