If you live in Hawaii and want to vote in the November 4, 2008, General Election, there are several ways to register and vote. Many don’t involve any kind of line. Voting has never been more convenient. Here’s what to do:
1. Register to vote
IMPORTANT:The deadline to register for the Hawaii General Election is Monday, October 6, 2008 at 4:30 PM.
If you are already a registered voter in Hawaii and still reside in the state, there’s no need to re-register. If you haven’t voted before or moved since the last election, you can register in several ways:
- Follow this link to the Hawaii Voter Registration website where you can download the registration form to complete and return by mail. This registration form is also available for free at every post office in Hawaii, satellite city halls, local libraries, phone books, state services offices and on University of Hawaii campuses.
- Alternately, you can register to vote in person by going to the office of the City or County Clerk on the island where you reside. Follow this link for the fact sheet that contains address and telephone information for all counties.
2. Locate your polling place
If you decide to vote in person on election day, your polling place is determined by your address (which breaks down into State House district and precinct). The November 2008 General Election will be held on November 4th. Most polling places open at 7:00 AM and close at 6:00 PM. Be sure to check with your polling place for their specific hours of operation.
- Once you are registered, you can use this interactive polling place locator to find out where to vote on election day
- Typical polling places in Hawaii are neighborhood elementary schools or community centers
The tried and true way to vote is to show up in person. Be sure to bring a government-issued identification (like a passport or driver’s license). If you go early, the line is usually shorter.
But if you will be off island or can’t get away that day, you have two choices: walk-in voting at the county Clerks office or absentee voting by mail. If you walk-in, you can also register on the spot. But keep in mind that you can only walk-in before election day.
Absentee voting is also really easy. Once you’re registered, all you have to do is download, print, complete and return this application form. The County clerk will mail you a ballot to complete and mail back.
County clerks will accept absentee ballot applications from July 22, 2008 to October 28, 2008 for the General Election.
I am a huge fan of absentee voting and do it every time, even if I am around. It’s just easier for me to fill out one piece of paper and mail it at my convenience. That way I don’t have to miss any of my afternoon surf session to do my civic duty.
For more details about what’s on this November’s ballot in Hawaii, see this entry.