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Honolulu Star-Advertiser Column: Hawaii’s vote-by-mail works, but improvements are necessary

Hawaii’s vote-by-mail process adopted in 2019, prior to the advent of the coronavirus, was proven emphatically to work. It significantly increased Hawaii’s disgracefully low voter turnout rate, even in the middle of a pandemic. Voter turnout increased by more than 16% over the previous primary in a general election year, and by more than 14% over the prior general election! Even though Hawaii’s mail-in balloting process was successful, improvements should still be made. This column was authored by Sandy Ma, Executive Director, Common Cause Hawaii


Honolulu Star-Advertiser - Long Election Day voter lines lead to complaints

Honolulu election officials said they anticipated more Oahu residents would show up on Election Day to vote at one of the two designated voter services centers on the island, just not 4,520 of them during that 12-hour span. Common Cause Hawaii Executive Director, Sandy Ma, had warned elections officials since before the Aug. 8 primary that the eight voting sites across the state, including the two on Oahu, would be inadequate and that other policies established by the counties and state weren’t going to work either.

Voting & Elections 11.5.2020

HPR Website Article - Common Cause Warned That More Voter Centers Would Be Needed

Results in Hawaii’s first-ever vote by mail election were severely delayed last night by long lines of residents casting votes -- in person. While the goal was for all registered voters to cast their ballots by mail or drop box, traditional, in-person voting was still available on every island, but only at select locations. In fact, there were only eight polling places state-wide that allowed in person voting. There were hours long delays. Sandy Ma, with good governance group Common Cause Hawaii, through much of 2020 had raised a red flag about the small number of voter service centers. "Common Cause has been advocating for additional voter service centers. Certainly eight statewide is not enough," Ma said.

Voting & Elections 10.20.2020

If Hawaii is going to work for all of us, we must ensure that mail-in voting truly works for everyone.

Certainly, vote-by-mail works for voters who have stable, long-standing addresses to which ballots can be mailed. Unfortunately, vote-by-mail does not work equally well for all. Housing-insecure voters, voters needing language assistance and those incarcerated who have not lost their right to vote are just a few of the voters that a mail-in voting system does not adequately reach, according to civil rights organizations such as the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and even proponents of mail-in ballots like Vote at Home.

Voting & Elections 09.1.2020

[WEBINAR] Digging Into the Data

2020 Hawaii Primary Election Results Digging Into The Data 1) Who Voted, Where, and Why? 2) Did Any Races / Issues Drive Turnout? 3) Were There Any Vote By Mail Issues? 4) Other Questions or Concerns? Presenters: Michael Golojuch, Jr. Jared Kuroiwa

Voting & Elections 07.30.2020

A coalition is raising the alarm about there being too few Voter Service Centers in Hawaii designated for the General Election.

This week Common Cause Hawaii, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and ACLU of Hawaii Foundation banded together to raise an alarm about what they describe as unconstitutional “election gaps.” They want the state Office of Elections and county clerks to move toward a solution by Friday, leaving open the prospect of legal action.

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