Hawaii passed a bill to hold universal mail-in elections, meaning all voters are sent mail ballots whether they request one or not, in mid-2019. The aim at the time was to increase voter turnout in Hawaii, which then was among the lowest in the United States.
“You don’t have to skip work to do it, you don’t have to take time off, you don’t have to go out of your way. I think the net result will be a small bump in voter turnout,” State Sen. Karl Rhoads said at the time.
There was confusion in Hawaii after a U.S. Postal Service mailer sent postcards telling voters to ask for mail-in ballots at least 15 days before Election Day. But the Honolulu Elections Division reminded voters that they do not need to take any action to get a ballot.
“We confirmed with Hawaii USPS officials that our residents will receive this too,” the body said. “To be clear, Hawaii voters need not request a mail ballot. And ballot return postage is prepaid.”
For the 2020 presidential election in Hawaii, voters must register by Oct. 5 to get their mail-in ballots by Oct. 16. They can then mail the ballots by Oct. 27 to ensure they are counted or drop them off at their county elections division office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Hawaii also has in-person voting options for those that choose it. Voters can visit voter service centers in the 10 days before and including Election Day to do so. There is also same-day registration available at the voter service centers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.