The '411' on Voting In the Nov. 3 General Election

State of Hawaiʻi is an ‘All Mail Election State’

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Graphic: Naomi Lemieux and Women’s League
Writer: Kasumi Collins
Position: Editor-in-Chief

UHH students should be very engaged in voting this election, according to Rosemarie Muller, president of League of Women Voters Hawaii County chapter. “It’s the most patriotic right they can exercise,” Muller said of students. “Voting benefits the community with job growth, better healthcare, better education and, most important, a better quality of life for themselves and their family. They have the power to make a difference.”

Anyone can get registered by requesting a voter registration application from the County Elections Division office, says Debbie Kaʻahanui-Hoyohoy, a senior election clerk with the County Elections Division. She notes that students can request a voter registration application by mail, by visiting the Elections Division at 25 Aupuni St. #1502, or via their website at

On the website, students can download a voter registration application, fill it out and mail it back to 25 Aupuni St #1502 Hilo, Hi 96720. Another option is to complete an Online Voter Registration process at However, students must have a Hawaiʻi driver license or a Hawaiʻi State ID in order to register online, according to Kaʻahanui-Hoyohoy.

The senior election clerk notes that if students are registered to vote in Hawaii, but are currently in another state, they can download a Seasonal Absentee Ballot Application at She says that students can mail their completed applications to the County of Hawaiʻi Elections Division for processing.

When Ke Kalahea went to print, there were 124,819 registered voters, according to Ka’ahanui-Hoyohoy. She says there were 122,125 registered voters for the primary election, and the total voter turnout for that election was 65,078. That is a 53.3% turnout.

Muller notes that this was a significant change from Hawaii’s historically low voter turnout of 31 percent. Muller credits Hawaii’s All Vote by Mail for boosting the voter turnout. “It was very successful,” Muller says. For the General Election, the Hawaii chapter of the League of Women Voters is hoping to help establish more drop boxes across the island. The ballots will be arriving into voters’ hands around Oct. 16. “Increasingly voter turnout means better representation and more funding for our county,” Muller says.

As of this year, the County of Hawaiʻi no longer has polling site locations as we are now an “All Mail” election state, according to Kaʻahanui-Hoyohoy.

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All registered voters will be mailed a ballot to the mailing address that is provided to the Elections Division. If at any time someone moves they will need to keep their voter registration updated by re-registering, Kaʻahanui-Hoyohoy says.

The County of Hawaii has established two Voter Service Centers, one located at West Hawaiʻi Civic Center in Kona, and the other located at the Aupuni Building in Hilo. The Voter Service Centers are open Monday through Saturday from Oct. 20 – Nov. 2 from the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Nov. 3 (General Election Day) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to Kaʻahanui-Hoyohoy.

The deadline to register to vote online is Oct. 5, exactly 30 days before the General Election, according to the County Election Division website.

“First time voters are usually the most important Americans to vote in an election,” Muller says.

“Being an informed voter will also allow them to select candidates based on their platforms without relying on party propaganda or media coverage.”

Muller points students to the League’s website for all this information.

She also notes that, on the Nov. 3 General Election Ballot for Hawaiʻi County, there will be 16 Charter Commission Amendments to vote on. They deal with issues such as Council Meetings, Police and Fire Commissions, Council term limits, etc. “We are creating a Voter Information Bulletin with pro and con statements on all 16 amendments,” she says. Check the League’s website for details.

Those wanting to vote in the General Election should have their ballots mailed, placed in drop boxes, or hand-delivered to the Elections Division by Oct. 27, to be received in time to be counted, says Kaʻahanui-Hoyohoy.

About League of Women Voters: Founded on Feb. 14, 1920, just six months before the 19th Amendment was ratified, the League has helped millions of women and men become informed participants in government since its inception. The Hawaiʻi County League of Women Voters has been part of the Big Island Community since the 1960s. Muller notes that the League works on local, state, and national issues such as voter education and registration, and transparency and ethics in government.

For details on the Primary Election results, visit, and click on “results.” To register to vote online, visit