Office of the City Clerk’s Elections Division
As the highly anticipated 2018 Primary and General Elections approach, and the fervor around the candidates involved intensifies, election officials are taking meaningful strides to make voting as easy as possible for those engaged in the civic process.
The Office of the City Clerk’s Elections Division is housed within the City & County of Honolulu, and the organization oversees voter registration, absentee voting and ballot requests by mail, and early walk-in voting at both Kapolei Hale and Honolulu Hale. These duties are separate from tasks performed by the state-run Office of Elections, although all the efforts are geared toward helping Hawaii residents cast their votes as part of the electoral process.
“More people are using the city’s absentee voting services,” says Rex Quidilla, elections administrator within the Office of the City Clerk’s Elections Division. “In the last Primary Election held in 2016, absentee and early voting constituted 62 percent of the overall voter turnout. People enjoy the convenience of taking the time to consider all the choices.
“There’s a belief that if you walk in or vote by mail that you need to provide a reason, but that’s not the case,” Quidilla says. “We also have seasonal absentee ballots that can be mailed to a non-Hawaii address if you will be away from home during the voting period, which is the case for college students and those on vacation. This is another voting option that’s available in advance of each election season.”
Quidilla reminds eligible residents that there are still opportunities to register to vote even though the initial voter registration period closed July 12. The voter registration process will re-open during the walk-in voting period, which runs from July 30-August 9, and voters can also register on Election Day – the upcoming Primary Election is slated for Saturday, Aug. 11 – at one’s designated polling location. And, in advance of the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, residents can register to vote by October 9 and can vote via the early walk-in option from October 23 through November 3.
More information about the services offered by the Office of the City Clerk’s Elections Division can be found on the group’s website: www.honolulu.gov/elections. In addition to finding out about important dates to remember, and learning about the voter registration process, visitors to the website can also request a permanent absentee ballot. Doing this requires one simple application, and once completed, the voter will receive absentee ballots via mail on a consistent basis – a convenient way to vote from home.
“The more voters know that voting process is easy and accessible, perhaps more people will vote,” Quidilla said.