Hawaii Voter Turnout and Registration 2012

In 1960, 93 percent of Hawaii's registered voters went to the polls in the general election. In 2010, only about 56 percent of registered voters bothered to show up on Election Day.

What's happened?

Hawaii has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country. In the past few elections, only about 40 percent of the state's registered voters have participated in the primary election. And that's only about 36 percent of all the people in Hawaii who are eligible to vote, registered or not.

We do better in the general election, but turnout has still been in the 50 percent range in non-presidential years and a bit above 60 percent in presidential election year. In 2008 when Hawaii's native son, Barack Obama, was on the presidential ballot turnout climbed to 66 percent of registered voters.

We'd like to help improve those numbers this year. Here's an easy place to find information on how you can participate fully in the democratic process. Check out our Hawaii Elections Guide 2012 for links to other information like campaign finance reports and candidates profiles.

And check back here as we add more information on resources and voting initiatives.

Early voting for absentees begins June 12.

The primary is Aug. 11

The general election is Nov. 6

For Voters

How to register, including contact information for your local elections offices.

Find out what legislative district you're in.

Find out what congressional district you're in.

When to register:

  • Voter registration deadline — Primary Election: Postmarked by July 12

(For the primary: The Hawaii Elections Office plans to send the trademark yellow voter registration cards out on July 18 with district and polling place information.)

  • Voter registration deadline — General Election: Postmarked by Oct. 8

When to vote:

  • Early voting (walk-in) — Primary Election: July 30 - Aug. 9

  • Early voting (walk-in) — General Election: Oct. 23 - Nov. 3

Absentee voting

A registered voter may vote with an absentee ballot through the mail or in person. To vote by mail, submit an application. Or write a letter to the City and County Clerk where you are a registered to vote and ask for a ballot to be mailed to you.

  • First day to request and submit absentee ballot — Primary and General Elections: check with Hawaii Elections Office as the redistricting legal challenge set back the schedule for candidate certification and printing of elections materials.

  • Last day to submit absentee ballot — Primary Election: Received by county clerk 4:30 p.m. Aug. 4

  • Last day to submit absentee ballot — General Election: Received by county clerk 4:30 p.m. Oct. 30

Get involved — Political parties

Democratic Party of Hawaii

  • Precinct meetings and Presidential Preference Poll: March 7

  • State party convention: May 25 - May 27

Full calendar of party events

Hawaii Republican Party

  • Presidential Caucus: March 13; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

GOP home page for more events as they're posted.

**Libertarian Party of Hawaii

Libertarian Party home page for a newsletter and calendar.

The Green Party of Hawaii

Green Party home page for contact info and principles.

Free Energy Party of Hawaii

Free Energy Party home page for recent candidates and information.

Voter education and turnout resources

Stories on voter turnout

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