En español | Hawaii’s Aug. 13 primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballot for U.S. Senate and House, state Senate and House, governor, lieutenant governor and several other state offices.
- Mail-in voting: Every registered voter in Hawaii automatically receives a ballot in the mail, in accordance with an all-mail election state law that went into effect in 2020. Mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on the primary and general election dates.
- Early in-person voting: This option is available starting 10 business days before an election; you can go to a voter service center in your county to cast your ballot.
- In-person voting on Election Day: The state’s primary election is Saturday, Aug. 13, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Hawaii votes mostly by mail, but voter service centers are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election days for walk-in voting, if that’s your preference.
A redistricting plan has changed the boundaries of the U.S. congressional and some legislative districts, and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot.
How do I register to vote?
- Online: Sign into Hawaii’s online voter registration system. You must have a Hawaii driver’s license or state ID card and a Social Security number to access the system. You can register online at any time before or on Election Day.
- By mail: Complete a voter registration application and send it to your county elections division. If you can’t download the application, call the state Office of Elections at 808-453-8683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a paper copy. You can also pick up an application at U.S. post offices, state libraries, satellite city halls and most state agencies. The deadline to submit a paper registration application, if you’d like to receive a ballot by mail, is Wednesday, Aug. 3, for the primaries and Monday, Oct. 31, for the general election. The state, however, recommends registering early to ensure you receive a ballot in the mail at least 18 days before an election.
- In person: Visit a voter service center, where you can register or update your registration and then vote on the same day. Or go to your county elections division or the state Office of Elections to register. You can also register to vote when completing an application for a driver’s license or state ID at the Department of Motor Vehicles or when applying for certain public assistance programs.
If you don’t have a Hawaii driver’s license, state ID card or a Social Security number, you can still register to vote by mail or in person, although first-time voters registering by mail without these need to provide proof of identification. Acceptable proof of identification includes a current photo ID card or a current bank statement, utility bill, paycheck or government document showing your name and address.
Does my party affiliation matter when I vote in the primaries?
Yes. Even though you don’t need to declare a political affiliation when you register to vote, you can vote for only one party’s candidates on the primary election ballot. Since elections for all political parties are included on the same primary ballot, be sure to vote in only one party’s primary or else your vote won’t count. Voting instructions are provided with the ballot.
During the general election, you can vote for any candidate, regardless of political affiliation.
How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?
Every registered voter will automatically receive a ballot in the mail. Ballots will arrive by Tuesday, July 26, for the primaries and Friday, Oct. 21, for the general election. If you do not receive your ballot by these dates, contact your county elections division.
If you are temporarily away from home and need your ballot sent to a different mailing address, you can submit an absentee ballot application by mail or in person.
- By mail: Download a copy of the application in English, Chinese, Ilocano or Tagalog. Or call the state Office of Elections at 808-453-8683 or email email@example.com to request a mailed copy of the application.
- In person: Visit your county elections division to drop off or complete an application.
Absentee ballot applications must be received by your county elections division at least seven days before the election deadline, so by Saturday, Aug. 6, for the primaries and by Tuesday, Nov. 1, for the general election.
Once you receive and complete your ballot, you can return it by mail or in person.
- By mail: Send it to your county elections division using the prepaid, preaddressed envelope included in your ballot packet.
- In person: Return it to any ballot drop box or a voter service center in your county. Drop box and voter service center locations can be found on the Office of Elections website.
Mail-in ballots must be received (not postmarked) by your county elections division by 7 p.m. on the primary and general election dates. The state suggests mailing your ballot at least a week in advance. If you can’t do that, drop it off at a ballot drop box or voter service center in the lead-up to or on Election Day, no later than 7 p.m.
Be sure to sign your return envelope, as election officials will verify your signature against the signature on file with your voter registration. If a ballot is returned without a signature, you’ll be contacted to provide one. If you don’t resolve the matter by Monday, Aug. 22, for the primaries and by Wednesday, Nov. 16, for the general election, your vote will not count.
If you’re a voter with special needs, you can request an electronic ballot on the absentee ballot application.
Can I track my absentee ballot?
Can I vote in person before Election Day?
Yes. Voter service centers, which include accessible voting for those with disabilities, will be open for voting from Monday, Aug. 1, to Friday, Aug. 12, (excluding Sundays) for the primaries and from Tuesday, Oct. 25, to Monday, Nov. 7, (excluding Sundays) for the general election. Locations and hours are on the Office of Elections website.
When is Election Day? When are polls open?
The state’s primary election is Saturday, Aug. 13, and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Because Hawaii’s election is mostly by mail, no precinct polling places will be open. Voter service centers will be open on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., although some aren’t scheduled to be open on Election Day. Available locations can be found on the Office of Elections website, which also provides ballot drop box locations, available until 7 p.m.
Do I need identification to vote?
Not for mail-in ballots, for which your signature will be used to verify your identity. But bring identification with you if you vote at a voter service center. Other means of verifying your identity can be used there, but these will take extra time.
What races are on the ballot in 2022?
- U.S. Senate: 1 seat, currently held by Democrat Brian Schatz, who’s running for reelection.
- U.S. House: both of Hawaii’s seats
- Governor/Lt. Governor
- State Senate: all 25 seats, due to redistricting
- State House: all 51 seats
Editor’s note: This guide was updated on July 29, 2022, with information about the general election. The guide was first published on Aug. 4, 2020.
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