It's time to cast your ballot: Polls open for early voting across Hawaii

Published: Jul. 24, 2018 at 6:54 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 30, 2018 at 2:02 PM HST
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Early voting for the primary election kicked off Monday and on-site voter registration means that casting a ballot is easier than ever this year.

It's all in an effort to boost Hawaii's lowest-in-the-nation voter turnout rate.

"At an early vote site, if you're a qualified voter ... we can register you to vote and we can have you vote on the same day," said Rex Quidilla, city elections administrator.

On Monday, longtime and first-time voters turned out at Honolulu Hale cast early ballots for the primary election.

"They say we don't make a difference, but my one vote may count some place," said voter Sonny Reyes. "That's how I feel. You vote … it's your civic duty, actually. It's a privilege to vote. I don't know why people don't vote."

Reyes, a Hawaii native, has been voting since he turned 18.

"I voted since I was eligible," Reyes said. "I figure I did my duty I can make noise."

He and his wife prefer voting in person rather than sending in absentee ballots by mail.

Hawaii residents who prefer to cast their votes from the comfort of their own home can take advantage of mail-in ballots, though.

The deadline to register for an absentee ballot is Saturday and they need to be received by the clerk's office or your respective polling place by 6 p.m. on primary election day.

With the state's track record of low voter turnout, officials are trying to do everything they can to make the voting process as easy as possible for residents as well as trying to spread the word about the importance of casting a ballot.

"It's everyone's opportunity to have a say in the leaders that project the direction of our state and our country and our county," said Quidilla. "You can go to a polling place on election day, you can come to an early vote site like here and you can also vote by mail. So, there's many different ways to vote."

According to Quidilla, about 2,000 voters took advantage of on-site registration at early polling places in 2016, and the city hopes the number will increase this time around.

There are 741,000 registered voters so far for the primary elections on Aug. 11. That's up from 2014, the last mid-term election cycle, when 697,033 registered for the primaries.

Early walk-in voting polling places across the state are as follows:

Big Island

  • Aupuni Center Conference Room; Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • West Hawaii Civic Center Community Room (Building G); Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Waimea Community Center; Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon
  • Pahala Community Center; Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed noon to 1 p.m.)
  • Pahoa Community Center; Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to noon

Maui County

  • Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku; Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Mitchell Pauole Center in Kaunakakai, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Kauai County

  • Historic County Annex Building in Lihue; Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


  • Honolulu Hale; Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Kapolei Hale; Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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