NEWSLETTER – NOVEMBER 2021
News Release from Office of Elections, Nov 2, 2021
Where has the year gone?! At this time of year, many of us find ourselves looking in the rearview mirror of 2021. We’re no different. As we look back on our 2021, we would like to recap some of the things we worked on and some legislative changes for the 2022 Elections.
ON THE HORIZON
Online Candidate System
We have developed an online candidate system that will issue nomination papers to interested candidates. In prior years, candidates had to pick up nomination papers in person at designated locations. Starting in 2022, they can complete the application for a nomination paper online and print the nomination paper to begin gathering signatures to qualify for the desired elective office. The online system will be available at elections.hawaii.gov beginning March 1, 2022.
Tracking your ballot will now be easier with notifications sent directly to you via text, voice, or email alerting you when your ballot has been mailed and when your County Elections Division has received it.
County of Kauai voters can sign up now at hawaii.ballottrax.net to prepare for the Prosecuting Attorney Special Election. Sign-up for voters statewide will be announced in 2022.
Verity Voting System
Beginning with the 2022 Elections, Hawaii will transition from the Hart Voting System to Hart Verity voting equipment. The new Verity Touch Writer, available at voter service center locations, is a ballot marking device that allows voters to vote and print a tabulation-ready ballot. The tabulation-ready ballot looks identical to any other.
NEW ELECTION LAWS
The Hawaii Legislature passed a variety of election laws to further expand voter access. The new laws implemented automatic voter registration, extended voter registration deadlines, and increased ballot accessibility for voters with disabilities.
Automatic voter registration is a quick and simple way to register to vote or update your voter registration. When completing an application for a Hawaii Driver License or State ID, you can also use the application to register to vote at the same time. If you choose to register to vote, your information will automatically be transferred to your County Elections Division for processing. Additionally, if you are renewing either form of ID, your information on the application will also be transferred automatically to update your voter registration record, unless you decline to have it updated.
The Legislature has extended the deadline to register to vote. New voters can register to vote up to 10 days before an election if they are completing a paper Voter Registration Application. Previously, the voter registration deadline was 30 days before election day. Online registration is also available at elections.hawaii.gov (note: Hawaii Driver License/State ID is required to access the online system).
Lastly, Hawaii legislators passed a bill that expands ballot access for voters with disabilities. Voters with disabilities who cannot read standard print may now request an electronic ballot to be permanently emailed every election, removing the burden of requesting an electronic ballot each election year. Printed ballots will still be mailed to voters who request an electronic ballot, and they will have the choice to return their ballot electronically or by mail.
2021 is a reapportionment year. Reapportionment is conducted every 10 years following the census. The data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau is used to apportion the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. Based on Hawaii’s population, it has two seats in U.S Congress. Additionally, census data is used to conduct redistricting for the State Senate and State House. The information is reviewed by the Reapportionment Commission, who is tasked to redraw the legislative district boundaries. As district boundaries may be redrawn, all 25 senatorial seats will be up for election in 2022.
That’s it for now! Please consider sharing this newsletter with friends and family so they too are informed about the upcoming 2022 Elections. Stay safe and happy holidays!
For election and voter information, visit elections.hawaii.gov or call (808) 453-VOTE (8683). Also, follow us @elections808 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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