Office of Elections begins mailing absentee ballots to evacuated Puna residents

Office of Elections begins mailing absentee ballots to evacuated Puna residents
Voting in Hawaii. (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the Kilauea eruption continues with no end in sight, Hawaii inches closer to the 2018 Primary Election.

For residents who have been forced to evacuate or relocate due to the eruption, the Office of Elections has begun mailing out absentee ballots to ensure all residents' voices are heard.

"The right to vote is one of our most sacred responsibilities as citizens, and our state has a fundamental responsibility to ensure all citizens have equitable opportunities to exercise that right, even under extreme circumstances," Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa said.

The elections office began mailing the ballots on Monday to over 6,000 affected residents who were assigned to vote at the Pahoa Community Center (04-03) and Pahoa High/Intermediate School (04-04) precincts.

Election officials are reminding voters to update their voter registration if they have moved, relocated, or provided the post office with a forwarding address as soon as possible to ensure they receive their ballot for the Primary Election as ballots are non-forwardable.

Registered voters can expect to receive their absentee ballots in the coming days.

For those who have not received ballots, contact the Hawaii County Elections Division at (808) 961-8277 to check your voter registration status.

Completed ballots must be received by the Clerk's Office before the close of polls, 6:00 p.m., on Saturday, August 11, 2018. Voters may also cast their ballot at any early walk-in voting location in the County from July 30 through August 9.

For additional information about absentee voting, contact the Hawaii County Elections Division at (808) 961-8277.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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