The deadline to register to vote in the primary election is quickly approaching

Published: Jul. 8, 2018 at 5:14 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 9, 2018 at 1:54 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Primary election day is right around the corner and there are important deadlines to follow to ensure your voice is heard.

State officials have already begun preparing for the 2018 election, in which Hawaii voters will decide major races like the race for governor, lieutenant governor and a seat in U.S. Congress.

Ballot counting machines are being tested for accuracy and polling place volunteers are being trained across the state. But they need you to go out and cast your votes on election day.

In recent years, Hawaii has earned a bad reputation as the state with the nation's worst voter turnout. According to a 2016 ranking, Hawaii came in dead last just after West Virginia, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Records from the state's Office of Elections show that in the 2016 primary election, 726,940 residents were registered to vote but only 252,725 turned out. That's a measly 34.8 percent voter turnout.

The last time voter turnout was 50 percent or higher in a primary election was 1998 when 582,558 residents were registered and 291,069 ballots were cast.

In an attempt to spike these numbers and get more people to the polls, lawmakers passed same-day registration and voting in 2014, but still, numbers remain low.

What better time than now to make sure you're registered and ready to vote? Here's a guideline for important dates to remember this election season:

  • Deadline to register for the primary election: July 12, 4:30 p.m.
  • Early walk-in voting/late registration: July 30-August 9
  • Deadline to request mail-in ballots: August 4
  • Primary Election: August 11
  • General Election: Nov. 6

Click here to register online at the Office of Elections website.

To register online, you will need a current Hawaii drivers license or Hawaii state ID card, along with your Social Security Number. At website, you can also find your polling place, view sample ballots, update records and request mail-in ballots.

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