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You Don’t Need to Get Out of Your Car to Register to Vote in Hawai‘i

State offers drive-thru voter registration.


Drive-thru voting at Hawaii State Capitol.

Photo: Diane Lee 


We like to think that Hawaiʻi residents are passionate about the well-being of our state, but that hope sure isn’t reflected in our voter turnout. People grumble about corrupt officials and the state of government, but the percentage of us who actually vote about it has steadily dropped since statehood in 1959—when more than 90 percent of Hawaiʻi voted for several elections thereafter. Today, fewer than half of eligible voters bother to vote in the primaries. Because Hawaiʻi is overwhelmingly dominated by one party, the primaries often prove the real battle ground for state officials, so don’t wait for the general elections to register!


Fortunately, registering before the fast-approaching July 14 deadline has never been easier. In an effort to improve Hawaiʻi’s dismal voter turnout, the state is offering drive-through voter registration events throughout the state on July 13 and 14, in which an election official can guide you through the application forms without you having to step away from your vehicle’s air-conditioning. If you have never registered before, or have moved or changed your name since the last election, here are three ways you can register to vote in the primary elections on Aug. 13.



Visit the Office of Election’s Online Voter Registration System. Although the drive-through registration stations offer personal assistance in filling out the form, it took us a total of 1 minute, 35 seconds to check our registration status online—though it may take a hair longer to type in your mailing address, to which they can send an absentee ballot you can fill out on your couch in August.


By mail

Print and submit a completed WikiWiki Voter Registration and Permanent Absentee Application to your County Clerk’s Office. The completed voter registration form must be postmarked by July 14, so get that form into your mailbox soon!


Visit a drive-through location: Depending on where you live and work, it may be easier to register with the help of an election official from the convenience of your vehicle on July 13 and 14 at the following locations and times.


2016 Drive-Through Voter Registration Locations


Big Island

Location: Bayfront (Hilo), Kmart (Kona), Mālama Market (Pāhoa)

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



Location: Baldwin High School Auditorium

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



Location: Office of County Clerk, Elections Division

Hours:  8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



Location: Hawaiʻi State Capitol (front of the capitol facing Beretania Street)

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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