Newsletter – May 2022Posted on May 3, 2022 in News Releases
Whether you’re a college student attending school out-of-state, or a military spouse voting for the first time in Hawaii, we understand that Hawaii’s voters come from all walks of life and navigating how to register and vote may seem overwhelming.
Below you’ll find a few unique voting circumstances, and some pointers on approaching the registration and voting process if you find yourself in any of these situations. Make sure to pass along this guide if you know a friend or family member who falls into any of these special voting circumstances.
Residents without a Hawaii Driver License or Hawaii State ID
MYTH: I can’t register to vote if I don’t have a Hawaii ID.
If you do not have a Hawaii Driver License or Hawaii State ID, you must complete a paper Voter Registration Application to register to vote or make updates to your voter information. The Online Voter Registration System requires a Hawaii ID to access the system.
On the application, provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
Military and overseas voters
MYTH: It is too cumbersome to receive and submit my ballot while overseas.
As a member of the military, a spouse or dependent of a military member, or a U.S. citizen living overseas, you are eligible to vote in Hawaii’s elections if you last resided in Hawaii before moving overseas. You have the unique opportunity to receive and return your ballot by email or fax, and are sent your ballot at least 45 days before the election to allow you ample time to vote and return your ballot.
To request your overseas ballot, you must submit a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to your County Elections Division. Your request is valid for one election year, so remember to submit an FPCA every election year you are away from Hawaii.
Voters without a fixed address
MYTH: I can’t vote if I’m houseless.
Those experiencing houselessness may not always have a conventional residential address. This however does not prevent one from participating in Hawaii’s elections.
If you do not have a fixed address, opt to register to vote using the paper Voter Registration Application. The application allows you to provide a description of where you reside to help election officials determine your voting district. You may include descriptors like cross streets and landmarks of where you reside.
Keep in mind that you also are required to provide a mailing address to receive your mail ballot. You are permitted to provide a P.O. Box or alternative mail service option, including general delivery, as your mailing address on the application. We encourage you to contact your local post office for information about alternative mail service options.
Voters with criminal convictions
MYTH: I’m ineligible to vote because of my criminal record.
In Hawaii, your voting rights are reinstated and you are eligible to vote once you have reached your final discharge. Additionally, if you are placed on probation or parole, you still maintain your voting rights and are eligible to vote.
If you believe you were registered to vote prior to your felony conviction, it is important to re-register. Be prepared to provide documentation of your discharge as it may be required by your County Elections Division to reinstate a voter record following a felony conviction.
Voters in college
MYTH: I can’t participate in Hawaii’s elections while I’m away from home.
As a student attending school out-of-state, you are eligible to have your ballot mailed to you at your current residence. You will need to submit an Absentee Ballot Application to receive your ballot to the alternate address.
The request is good for one election cycle, so be aware that you will need to submit the request for every election year that you are away from your Hawaii residence, otherwise your ballot will be automatically mailed to your Hawaii address.
Voters with disabilities
MYTH: Voting on the paper mail ballot is my only option.
Accessible electronic ballots are available to you if you are disabled and unable to read standard print. As an alternative to the mail ballot, an electronic ballot allows you to independently mark and review your ballot using any compatible device.
To request an electronic ballot, submit a Voter Registration Application and mark the statement affirming that you meet the qualifications to make the request. You can also make the request via the Online Voter Registration System. Electronic ballots are sent to the email address you provide on your application.
We encourage you to visit our assistance page for a complete guide on the accommodations available to help you with the registration and voting process.
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