Vote 2018

Voting Rights in Hawai‘i

This guide is general in nature and not intended to be legal advice. For legal advice consult your attorney. Updated July 25, 2016

Printable version (legal sized paper, PDF): voting_rights2016-2

2016 Primary Election Voter Registration Deadline: July 14, 2016

2016 Primary Election: August 13, 2016

2016 General Election Voter Registration Deadline: (REVISED)Postmarked no later than Tu., 10/11/16 for MAILED applications. LATE REGISTRATION (in person at any early walk in voter location statewide) is open Fri., 10/25 thru Sat., 11/5.

UPDATE 10/20/16: The ACLU of Hawaii, made aware of the fact that the 2106 postmark deadline for mailed voter registration applications (10/8/16) was also a Federal holiday with no mail service,  and therefore in violation of federal law, wrote a demand letter to the Department of the Attorney General and the Office of Elections on Tuesday, 10/18. On Thursday, 10/20, Attorney General Chin promptly responded by letter, assuring us that election officials will accept voter registration forms postmarked Tuesday, 10/11 – thereby bringing Hawaiiʻs elections calendar into compliance with the National Voter Registration Act. Weʻd like to thank our local voting rights allies, the League of Women Voters Hawaii and Common Cause Hawaii for standing ready to kōkua (support) in case this issue had needed to go to court.

2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

In a democratic nation, voting is a right, not a privilege! Attempts to suppress voters’ rights, often through discriminatory practices, have made it all the more important for us all to know and demand our right to vote!

Vote to empower yourself, your family and your community. Vote so that the needs of your community are addressed by those in office. Vote because your voice is important and deserves to be heard.

As a Hawai‘i resident, you have the right to:

  • Vote, either in person or through an absentee ballot, as long as you are properly registered;
  • Vote without providing a driver’s license or other government-issued identification card (unless you are a first-time voter who did not show I.D. while registering);
  • Vote for anyone you want, no matter what – no one has the right to coerce, manipulate, or force your vote! You have the right to make your own voting decisions. The exception to this rule is that in the Primary Election on August 13, 2016, you must choose one political party on your ballot and select only candidates from that political party;
  • Get another ballot if you make a mistake;
  • Vote in secret – you don’t have to tell or show anyone who or what you vote for or what political party you belong to. Again, the exception to this is in the Primary Election, you must select one political party on your ballot and vote within that party.
  • Be provided with appropriate accommodation at the polls if you are disabled. If you wish, you may bring someone with you in the polling booth to assist;
  • Vote by absentee ballot if you meet the registration deadline;
  • Challenge another person’s right to vote on the basis of identity and/or residency;
  • Leave work for a maximum of 2 hours for the sole purpose of voting on Election Day – only if it is not possible for you to vote before or after your scheduled shift;
  • Challenge decisions of the county clerk or precinct official;
  • Register and vote if you are homeless – As long as you meet the requirements to vote (U.S. citizen, Hawai‘i resident, over 18) – your housing status does not affect your right to vote. You may register and vote whether homeless, permanently or temporarily housed, or if you are living in a shelter, halfway house, or any other non-permanent housing.
  • If you have questions about sign-waving and other free speech activities, please visit our First Amendment Toolkit.

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