Here's what you need to know if you're heading to the polls Saturday

Here's what you need to know if you're heading to the polls Saturday

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Expect short lines at the polls on Saturday.

That's the word from political pundits, who say a lack of excitement about the primary election is expected to translate into low voter turnout.

Polls open at 7 a.m. statewide, and close their doors at 6 p.m. Voters will be weighing in on several important local races, including who should head up Honolulu Hale.

But that's not expected to spur a run to the polls.

"I hate to say it, but I think turnout it going to be pretty low," said Collin Moore, University of Hawaii political science professor. "We don't have a lot of hot races, and I think people are going to stay home. I hope they don't."

Turnout for primary elections in the islands is historically low, but officials had hoped to drive more people to the polls by making the registration process easier.

This is the first year that Hawaii residents could register to vote online, something tens of thousands of people took advantage of. The state also for the first time allowed voters to register on-site at early walk-in polling places.

If early walk-in voting numbers is any indication, though, the efforts to streamline registration don't appear to have worked.

Some 19,215 Hawaii residents cast their ballots in early walk-in voting that ended Thursday, way down from previous years.

On Oahu, 9,925 people participated in early walk-in voting.

By comparison, 10,524 Oahu residents participated in early walk-in voting in 2014, and 24,288 voted early in 2012.

Mail-in voting also appears to be down. As of Friday afternoon, the city had received 83,000 mail-in ballots. In 2014, by comparison, Oahu got 88,174 primary election mail-in ballots.

Planning to vote Saturday?

  • Bring a state ID. If you don't have one on you, you'll be asked to recite personal information to polling place workers to confirm your identity.
  • If you’re not sure where your polling place is, click here to check.
  • You can also view your ballot ahead of time.
  • And if you’re not registered, you’re out of luck. But you can register to vote online for the general election in November.

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