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Progressive change should boost voter registration

By Staff | Aug 13, 2015

Given the very low turnout for the past few elections, the county and state should take whatever steps they can to make it easier to register and vote.

A great reform was announced last week. The Office of Elections and Offices of the City/County Clerks reported that residents are now able to register to vote online at www.elections.hawaii.gov.

Open only to residents with a Hawaii Driver’s License or State ID, the service also allows citizens to update their voter information and request a permanent absentee ballot.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii lobbied for passage of this progressive feature of voter registration. They urge all eligible unregistered citizens to take advantage of this opportunity.

League President Ann Shaver called the timing perfect, as Aug. 6 was the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

“League honors the original provisions of this act, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate this anniversary than for unregistered eligible citizens to register to vote,” she commented.

The online system, the result of careful collaboration between the state Office of Elections and County Clerks in each of Hawaii’s counties, was built to ensure that only persons providing verifiable identification are able to register online.

All online submissions will go through the same verification process as paper applications. Residents that are not eligible to use the online system can still register to vote by completing a paper application and submitting it to the Maui County Clerk’s Office.

For more information about registering to vote, visit the Office of Elections’ website or call (808) 453-VOTE (8683).

The deadline for voter registration for the 2016 primary election is July 14. Hopefully, this new change will boost participation.