Voter Registration in Hawaii
Cresting the age of 18 finally allows you to have a true political voice―through the act of voting. Even if you're still living under your parents' roof, at 18 you can help choose who represents your interests in the government and how you want your tax dollars to be spent. Voting is your inalienable right as a U.S. citizen and one of the most significant responsibilities of adulthood.
Turning 18 triggers a few other legal changes also, and these make voting all the more important. At 18, you can now be charged as an adult for crimes, and men must sign up with the Selective Service (i.e. the draft) when they reach legal adulthood.
You'll want to have your say in how these laws and systems work. Earning the right to vote is a big deal, and most people always remember the first time they were able to step behind the curtains and cast a ballot.
Alternatively, suppose you've been a voting adult for some time in other states. If you're a new Hawaii resident, you'll want to participate in shaping the politics and future of your new home. And of course, established Hawaii residents should reregister every time they change addresses.
Hawaii goes to great lengths to make sure that people not only vote, but also have several easy means to register to do so. In fact, Hawaii even lets you preregister to vote when you turn 16 and begin taking the steps to get your first driver's license. When you turn 18, the preregistration will kick in and you will be reminded that you are officially eligible to vote.
Of course, there are a few limitations on who may vote in Hawaii. Before you submit your voter registration form, you'll need to meet all of the following requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must be a citizen of the United States.
- You must be a legal resident of Hawaii.
- You must not be a convicted felon or, if so, you must have had your civil rights restored.
At County Driver's License Offices
Regardless of your age, if you have yet to sign up for your civic duty, you may find it easiest to do so when you take care of any driver's license issues. There are a multitude of licensing offices spread across each island (see below). So if you are getting a new license, making a change to your existing license, switching over from another state, or renewing your Hawaii license, you will most likely appear in person at an office. At this point you can also register to vote on your license application.
The driver's license office locations are listed by county:
On the other hand, if you still have four years to go before your next renewal, have wait-in-line-phobia inspired by previous trips to the driver's license office, and want to vote in the upcoming election, there are plenty of alternatives.
A good place to start is by visiting the Hawaii Office of Elections website. Here you will find all of the information necessary to sign up to vote, including the all-important Wikiwiki Affidavit on Application for Voter Registration.
This is the main application form for the entire state, and it's available for download in PDF format. If you need Adobe Reader software in order to view the form on your computer, you can download it for free.
You can also find the application in a variety of other places, including:
- Phone books
- U.S. Postal Service branches
- State and county government agencies
No matter where you pick up the application form, it comes with detailed instructions on what information needs to go where. It also lists the county office addresses where you will mail the form after it is filled out.
In Person at a County Clerk's Office
Considering the county clerks' offices are the agents in charge of keeping the books on all the registered voters, it makes sense that you can opt to go directly to the source and fill out an application.
During major general elections, you may not be able to complete even one errand without running into a volunteer with a clipboard and a pile of applications. This is the perfect time to register if you haven't yet. Generally, you only need to make sure you sign on the dotted line 30 days or more before going to the voting booth.
The volunteer, who may be perched outside a grocery store or canvassing a college campus, will deliver the application to the necessary location. You will just need to call your local county clerk and make sure you know exactly which local polling station you need to go to on election day.
For further information, visit the following county elections websites:
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