Hawaii Votes EP. 1 – November 2021 – 2021 Recap


Catch up with the Office of Elections and find out what’s new ahead of Hawaii’s 2022 Elections.


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Hello and welcome to the Hawaii Votes program, brought to you by the State of Hawaii Office of Elections. In this series, we’ll cover all things voting and be your guide through the 2022 Election year.

We’re your hosts, Ray and Jaime, and to kick off this series, we want to get you caught up with what we’ve been up to in 2021, and share the ways we’ve been gearing up for the 2022 Election cycle.

Jaime, give us a preview of what we’ll be covering today.


In today’s episode, we’ll be discussing:

Changes in Hawaii election laws, new voting equipment, and reapportionment and redistricting.

There are a number of notable changes in Hawaii election law that went into effect as a result of the 2021 Legislative Session.

First, automatic voter registration became effective this past July. With automatic voter registration, if you are a U.S. citizen, a Hawaii resident, and at least 18 years old, you will be automatically registered to vote when completing a driver’s license or state ID application.

If you are already a registered voter, the information you provide on your driver’s license or state ID application will be used to automatically update your existing voter registration record.

The move to automatic voter registration is significant because it provides voters greater access to registering to vote, and helps election officials maintain accurate voter records to ensure that you continue to receive your mail ballot every election.


The second law change relates to voters with special needs. For voters with special needs, you can now conveniently request an accessible electronic ballot with your voter registration, by submitting a paper Voter Registration Application or online at elections.hawaii.gov. Electronic ballots have been available in past elections, but this law integrates the request into the registration process.

If you are disabled and unable to read standard print, you may request an electronic ballot. You’ll receive your electronic ballot by email, and can mark and review your ballot independently using any personal compatible device. Although ballots are delivered by email, the ballot itself is not connected to the internet and does not require internet access to vote.

You only need to make the request once and will continue to receive an electronic ballot for all elections.


Next, the voter registration paper deadline has been extended. Previously a 30-day deadline for the application was in place, but now paper applications will be accepted up until 10 days before the election.

The final development from the 2021 Legislative session that we want to mention is the delayed start of candidate filing for the upcoming elections. Candidate filing has been moved from February to March due to the delays in the reapportionment process, which we will later explore. Candidate filing for the 2022 Elections runs from March 1 through June 7.


We’ll take a quick break and when we return, we’ll learn about the new voting machines that will be used beginning with the upcoming 2022 Primary Election.

Visit elections.hawaii.gov to register to vote today.


Begin by clicking ‘Start Here’

Next, provide your identification information. All fields are required. Be sure the ID number you type is exactly as it appears on your ID card.

Continue by clicking ‘Next’ then ‘Register to Vote’

Review and answer the qualification questions. You are only permitted to continue if you meet all qualifications.

Next, indicate if you are registered to vote in another state.

Then complete the contact information page. When entering your residence address, first select your island, then type the address. Providing your number and email allows election officials to contact you if any issues arise from your registration. Once complete, click ‘Next’

Lastly, carefully review your information and the affirmation statement and click ‘Submit’.

Save a copy of the summary page for your record.

And that’s it, you’re now registered to vote.


During the upcoming elections, we will be utilizing Hart InterCivic’s Verity voting system to build and count the ballots. The new system will be implemented statewide, and you can expect a similar look and feel as compared to past elections.

If you choose to vote at a voter service center, you will be utilizing the new voting equipment. The new ballot marking devices allow you to mark your ballot using a touch screen, an accessible controller, or a personal device.

The ballot marking device produces a printed ballot which you will then feed into a ballot scanner to be counted.

In September, our office conducted a mock election to familiarize election officials with the Verity voting system. The mock election enabled officials from across the state to test the voting equipment and participate in exercises to test the logic and accuracy of the system.


Throughout the past year, our office has provided technical support to the Reapportionment Commission in their duties to complete Hawaii’s 2021 Reapportionment.

You may have heard the terms “reapportionment” and “redistricting” in headlines throughout the year. But what exactly is the difference between these two terms, and how does this process impact you?

Following the U.S. Census every 10 years, reapportionment is the process of dividing the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states based on changes in population. Simply put, reapportionment determines your representation. According to data released in April, it was determined that Hawaii maintains two House seats.


With reapportionment complete, the process of redistricting has been ongoing. Redistricting is the process of drawing lines to determine districts for congress, state senate, and state house. In determining the district lines, the Reapportionment Commission is responsible for ensuring that districts maintain equal populations.

Due to the delayed delivery of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hawaii Supreme Court has extended the deadline for the Reapportionment Commission’s proposed plans to January 8, 2022, and file its final reapportionment plan by February 27, 2022.

Keep posted to the Reapportionment Commission page on our website for the latest news on the plan.


And now an announcement for our Kauai residents: The election year begins a little earlier for you. Due to the resignation of Kauai County’s Prosecuting Attorney, Justin Kollar, a Special Primary Election is scheduled for December 18, 2021 in order to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.

All registered Kauai voters will receive a ballot in the mail no later than 18 days before the Primary Election date, and ballots must be received by the County of Kauai’s Elections Division by 7:00 pm on December 18.

If you have any questions about the Special Primary Election, please contact the County of Kauai’s Elections Division at 808-241-4800.


At the end of each episode, we’d like to reserve time to address common questions we’ve received from the public through phone calls, emails, and social media. If you have any questions that you’d like to see addressed in a future episode, tag us on Twitter or Instagram at our handle elections808 with your questions.


Thank you for joining us for our first episode! We hope you enjoyed our recap of 2021 and that you will continue to join us throughout the election year as we explore voting in Hawaii. Follow us on social media at elections808, and visit our website at elections.hawaii.gov for all things Hawaii elections. We’ll see you again soon. Thanks!