HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - You might think Hawaii decided to switch to all mail-in voting during the 2020 campaign season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that’s not actually the case.
Instead, lawmakers ― hoping to boost Hawaii’s last-in-the-nation voter turnout ― approved the switch in 2019, following other states who have also gone almost entirely to mail-in ballots.
The change was also seen as a natural progression for Hawaii voters. The number of voters in the islands who voluntarily opted to cast a ballot by mail has steadily increased in recent years.
The primary election that was held on Aug. 8 was Hawaii’s first all mail-in election, though there will also be a handful of Voter Service Centers opened for people who want to vote in person, need an accessible option or have registration issues.
And there will be sites statewide where you can opt to drop off your ballot if you don’t want to mail it in ― or are worried that it might not get back to your county’s Clerk’s Office in time.
What there won’t be this year: Your neighborhood polling place and the customary long (or not so long) lines of voters waiting to cast their ballots.