Office of Hawaiian Affairs Elections

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is a public agency governed by a Board of Trustees responsible for setting policy and managing the agency’s trust.

The Board of Trustees is composed of nine (9) members who are elected to serve four (4) year terms. All voters statewide are allowed to vote in each OHA contest.

Four (4) seats on the Board are at-large trustees. The remaining five (5) seats are resident trustees with one (1) trustee from each of the following islands – Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai.

Qualifications

Candidates for OHA Trustee must be a:

  • Resident of respective island for seats requiring residency
  • Registered voter of the State of Hawaii

Election of Island Resident Trustee

  • One (1) candidate: the candidate will be deemed elected at the close of candidate filing.
  • Two (2) candidates: the candidates will appear on the general election ballot. The candidate receiving the most votes in the general election will be deemed elected.
  • Three (3) or more candidates: the candidates will appear on the primary election ballot. If a candidate receives majority of the votes cast, excluding blank and over votes, then the candidate is deemed elected. Otherwise, the two (2) candidates receiving the most votes will appear on the general election ballot. The candidate receiving the most votes in the general election will be deemed elected.

Election of At-Large Trustee(s)

In a year with only one (1) at-large trustee seat on the ballot, the following occurs:

  • One (1) candidate: the candidate will be deemed elected at the close of candidate filing.
  • Two (2) candidates: the candidates will bypass the primary election ballot and will instead appear on the general election ballot. The candidate receiving the most votes in the general election will be deemed elected.
  • Three (3) or more candidates: the candidates will appear on the primary election ballot. If a candidate receives majority of the votes cast, excluding blank and over votes, then the candidate is deemed elected. Otherwise, the two (2) candidates receiving the most votes will appear on the general election ballot. The candidate receiving the most votes in the general election will be deemed elected.

In a year with three (3) regularly scheduled at-large trustee seats on the ballot, the following occurs:

  • Three (3) candidates: The candidates will be deemed elected at the close of candidate filing.
  • Four (4), five (5), or six (6) candidates: the candidates will appear on the general election ballot. The three candidates receiving the most votes in the general election will be deemed elected.
  • Seven (7) or more candidates: the candidates will appear on the primary election ballot.
    • If a candidate receives majority of the votes cast, excluding blank and over votes, then the candidate is deemed elected. The next four (4) candidates receiving the most votes will appear on the general election ballot. The two (2) candidates receiving the most votes in the general election will be deemed elected.
    • If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, then the six (6) candidates receiving the most votes will appear on the general election ballot. The three (3) candidates receiving the most votes in the general election will be deemed elected.

 

To learn more about becoming an OHA candidate, please refer to Candidate Filing.

View printable Office of Hawaiian Affairs Elections FACTSHEET. For complete information, please refer to HRS Chapter 13D.


Information is available in alternate formats. If you require special assistance call the Office of Elections at 808-453-VOTE (8683). Neighbor Islands may call toll free 1-800-442-VOTE (8683) or e-mail us at elections@hawaii.gov.