Hawaii Votes EP. 2 – January 2022 – Make a Plan to Vote
Get yourself ready for the 2022 Election year with our guide to making your plan to vote.
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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 cover all things voting and serve as your guide through the 2022 Election year.
We’re your hosts, Ray and Jaime, and today’s episode is all about making your plan to vote. We’ll give you some tips to help set you up for a stress-free election season.
In this episode, we’ll be discussing:
Important dates and deadlines, how to confirm your voter registration, receiving and submitting your ballot, and the importance of having a backup plan.
Ray, start us off with the first tip on building your 2022 voting plan.
Tip number one, mark you calendar. Take a second to mark your calendar with these four important election dates so you don’t miss your opportunity to vote.
Let’s start with the big dates. The Primary Election is on Saturday, August 13, and the General Election is on Tuesday, November 8. Little fun fact, primary elections are always held on the second Saturday in August, and general elections are always held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. And as a reminder, Hawaii’s elections are scheduled in even-numbered years.
For those new to voting in Hawaii, Hawaii is a vote-by-mail state which means all registered voters are automatically mailed a ballot. As a general rule, you can expect to receive your mail ballot about 18 days before election day.
For the Primary, your ballot should arrive by July 26, and for the General, by October 21.
Let’s run through these dates one more time:
July 26, your Primary Election ballot arrives in the mail
August 13 is Primary Election Day. Your ballot must be received by 7:00 pm in order to be counted.
October 21, your General Election ballot arrives in the mail
November 8 is General Election Day. Again, your ballot must be received by 7:00 pm in order to be counted.
With these important dates marked in your calendar, you’ll be better equipped to anticipate and resolve any issues with ample time. For example, if you notice your ballot hasn’t arrived in the mail by the mentioned dates, we encourage you to be proactive and contact your County Elections Division right away.
Tip number two, confirm your voter registration. If you’re joining us, it might be safe to assume that you’re already a registered voter. But in case you’re not, pause the video and take care of that right now. Visit elections.hawaii.gov and get registered to vote in a matter of minutes.
So for those of you who are long-time voters, when was the last time you confirmed your voter registration? Have you verified that your voting information is current? Make it a habit to check your voter registration at the start of every election year. This will only take a few minutes by using the Online Voter Registration System at elections.hawaii.gov.
Don’t have access to the Online Voter Registration System? Call us at 808-453-VOTE (8683), and we can help confirm your registration over the phone.
Remember, if you have moved, or changed your name or mailing address, you need to update your voter record. Avoid any issues by confirming your voter registration is current well ahead of ballots being sent out.
We’ll take a quick break and when we return, we’ll go over a few questions you need to consider when making your plan to vote.
We asked you folks to submit your election questions to us via social media.
starryand_friends asks: What is the procedure for removing deceased people from the voter rolls? How do you remove them if they lived in a different state but remained on the Hawaii rolls?
Thanks for the great question!
The maintenance of voter records is an ongoing process, and officials perform a number of routine procedures to keep voter registration lists current. We’ll outline two procedures specifically that address your questions.
First, the County Elections Divisions remove the names of deceased voters based on information shared by the Hawaii Department of Health. This information sharing is an example of how election officials work with other government agencies to ensure voter records remain accurate.
Second, regarding a Hawaii voter who has since moved to another state, County Election officials use a series of mailings to identify outdated records, which would include someone who has left Hawaii.
Every election year, all registered voters are sent a notice of voter registration. These notices are non-forwardable, so if someone has moved and not updated their voter registration, the notice is returned to election offices, and that voter record is flagged.
The undeliverable notice triggers a series of mailings that allows the voter to update their record before being removed from Hawaii’s voter rolls. If the voter fails to update their registration after two general elections, they are removed from the voter rolls.
Again, thank you for that great question.
Now that we’ve completed those housekeeping tasks, on to tip number three, make your voting plan.
Consider these two questions:
“Will you be away from home during the primary election, general election, or both?” and “How will you return your ballot?”
Question number one: Will you be away from home during the primary, general, or both elections? If you anticipate being away for any of the elections, request to receive an absentee ballot. Find the Absentee Ballot Application on our website, or visit any U.S. post office or state library. Indicate on the application the election you will be away, and the mailing address your ballot should be sent to.
It’s important to note that an Absentee Ballot Application is only valid for a specific election year, so you will need to submit an application every election year you are away. If you are a college student, make sure this is a regular part of your voting plan.
Of course, if you won’t be away during the election, this does not apply. You will continue to receive your ballot in the mail to your registered mailing address for every election.
Question number two: How will you return your ballot? The most convenient way to return your voted ballot is by dropping it back in the mail. The provided return envelope is postage-paid via USPS. When returning by mail, be mindful of delivery times and allow ample time for your ballot to be received by the deadline. Remember, your ballot must be received, not mailed or postmarked, by 7:00 pm on Election Day to be counted.
Ballots can also be returned to any ballot drop box within your county. Ballots dropped off at these locations are collected by your county election officials. A list of locations nearest you will be available closer to the elections on our website. Bookmark elections.hawaii.gov today, and check back in May 2022 for that resource.
Tip number four, have a backup plan. Let’s say you misplaced your ballot or maybe you recently moved and forgot to update your voter record, and you’re just a few days away from Election Day. It’s important to know what your options are now, so you can be prepared if anything goes wrong.
Voter service centers are a great backup for your last minute voting needs. For example, a lost or incorrectly marked ballot are some of the issues that can be addressed by visiting a voter service center. In addition to accessible in-person voting, these locations allow voters to register to vote or update their voter registration.
Again, a list of voter service center locations will be available in May 2022. Bookmark elections.hawaii.gov today, so you’ll have that resource readily available when the locations in your county are posted.
So let’s recap how you can set yourself up for success this election season.
Tip number one: Mark your calendar with the important election dates.
Tip number two: Confirm your voter registration.
Tip number three: Plan how you’ll vote and how you’ll return your ballot.
Tip number four: Know your backup options.
And there you have it, you’re ready to vote. Now check in with a friend or family member and share this episode with them to be sure that they are election ready too.
Thank you for joining us today. Be sure to follow us on social media at elections808, and visit our website for all things Hawaii elections. We’ll see you in the next one. Thanks!