In a Strange Twist of Timing, Hawai‘i This Year Switched to an All-Mail-In Vote

We’ve got mail.

After embarrassingly low numbers of Hawai‘i folks bothered to vote for years, state lawmakers approved a change from traditional polling places to an all-mail-in ballot system for the 2020 elections. 


Here’s what you need to know:

  • The last day to register to vote is July 9 for the primary election and Oct. 5 for the general election.

  • If you’re registered (thank you!) and haven’t moved, then you can expect to receive your mail ballot packet about three weeks before each election, so the week of July 21 for the primary and Oct. 16 for the general.

  • Deadline: All ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Aug. 8 for the primary and Nov. 3 for the general.


Whoops! You just remembered you didn’t turn in that signature card that came in the mail in May. Does that mean you can’t vote? Don’t worry, the elections office will compare your signature on file from when you registered for verification.


As of the June 2 candidate filing deadline, more than 420 people declared that they are running for office this year in Hawai‘i. This year’s race will be critical for determining the direction the city, state and nation take in coping with a pandemic.


In Honolulu alone, the election will determine who will be the new mayor as well as a majority of the City Council seats—five of the nine are available, as term limits prevent any of those currently holding those seats to run for reelection.


Voting takes places for all 51 seats of the state House every two years, along with half of the state Senate. And in Congress, Rep. Ed Case is running for reelection but Rep. Tulsi Gabbard opted to not run again when she was running for president.


Need more info? Go to or call 453-VOTE (8683).