HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - You might think Hawaii decided to switch to all mail-in voting with the 2020 primary election 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 on Aug. 8 will be Hawaii’s first all mail-in election, and the state Office of Elections has been busy preparing.
Voters will get ballots in the mail, and most will opt to send them back the same way.
But 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.