Support automatic voter registration
Launched with great timing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, voting by mail helped increase turnout during the 2020 elections.
Hawaii saw record-high voting for the primary, and in all, 579,165 citizens voted last year for 69.6 percent turnout.
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii last week acknowledged the state’s amazing 2020 increase in voter registration and turnout. They thanked voting officials for their outstanding work implementing Act 136, Hawaii’s voting by mail law.
Hawaii League President Piilani Kaopuiki noted, “Between the 2018 and 2020 general elections, an additional 75,000 people registered to vote, a compelling response to Hawaii’s voting modernization efforts permitting online voter registration and same-day (Election Day) registration.
“We look forward to passage of automatic voter registration in the 2021 session, as this is a simple, cost-effective step supported by all voting officials statewide, with significant community support.”
Christopher Edwards, president of the Honolulu League, explained, “Voters have responded to improved ways to register to vote, but the challenge remains. By one estimate, more than 212,000 persons remain eligible to vote in Hawaii but are not yet registered.”
To increase voter registration, the Hawaii Legislature is now considering Senate Bill 282.
If passed into law, residents would complete voter registration as part of their application for a state identification card or driver’s license.
State officials deserve credit for making registration and voting as easy as possible. Here in Maui County, our turnout increased 41 percent last year.