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Voting in Hawaii

Elections in Hawaii

In every even numbered year, Hawaii holds a Primary Election in August and a General Election in November.

Primary Election

The Primary Election is held to nominate candidates to represent the political parties in the General Election. This nomination process, called a Single Party Primary, asks voters to select candidates from the party of their choice. Similarly, candidates who do not belong to a specific party will be nominated to the General Election ballot as a nonpartisan candidate. Your choice of party and candidates remains secret.

Candidates for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and county contests also appear on the Primary Election ballot. All voters may vote in these contests regardless of party affiliation.

General Election

The General Election is a candidate contest, meaning that voters may vote for the candidate of their choice regardless of partisan and nonpartisan affiliation. Voters will select federal, state, county, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidates, as well as Constitutional Amendments and Charter Amendments.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Elections

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

OHA is governed by a nine (9) member Board of Trustees who are elected to their seats to serve four-year terms. There is no limit on the number of terms a trustee may serve. Candidates for OHA are nominated at the Primary Election and elected at the General Election. All voters statewide are allowed to vote in each OHA contest.

Presidential Elections

Hawaii does not conduct a presidential primary. Qualified political parties provide candidates for president and vice president, as well as electors to represent the party at the Electoral College. The Electoral College officially elects the president and vice president of the United States. Learn more about Electoral College.

For more information about which contests will appear on a ballot, please refer to the contest schedule.

Registering to Vote

To register to vote in the State of Hawaii, individuals must meet the following qualifications:

Hawaii law allows qualified individuals to pre-register at sixteen (16) years of age.  Upon reaching eighteen (18) years of age, they will be automatically registered.

Learn more about voter registration.

First Time Voters in Hawaii

If you are registering to vote for the first time in the State of Hawaii and are mailing in your application, federal law requires that your provide proof of identification. Proof of identification includes a copy of:

  • A current and valid photo identification; or
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.

If you do not provide the required proof of identification with the application, you will be required to do so at you polling place, or with your mail ballot.


The State of Hawaii conducts elections by mail. All registered voters will automatically receive a mail ballot packet approximately 18 days prior to each election. Voted ballots must be received by the Clerk’s Office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Learn more about elections by mail.

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 [email protected]