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Primary Election Approaching

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

This week, Molokai registered voters will receive their ballots for the primary election in the mail. The deadline for your ballot to be received is Saturday, Aug. 13 so it must be postmarked in advance, or it can dropped off at the voter service center in Kaunakakai by Saturday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. To register to vote or check your status, visit elections.hawaii.gov. 

In the primary election, voters nominate the candidates who will represent each party in the general election, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8. When casting your primary election ballot, remember to select only one political party preference, and only vote for the candidates of your selected political party preference. Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees and Maui County seats are not associated with a particular party. 

Molokai voters will select their choice for U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative District II, Governor and Lieutenant Governor, State Senator District 7, State Representative District 13, Maui County Mayor, County Councilmembers including the Molokai seat, Office of Hawaiian Affairs at-large and Oahu resident trustees. 

A number of Molokai residents are running for office this election. 

Lynn DeCoite is running for re-election of her State Senate District 7 position, with Walter Ritte also vying for the same seat. Incumbent Molokai County Councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez is being challenged by John Pele of Maunaloa. Manae’s Mahina Poepoe filed papers to opposed incumber Linda Clark of Maui for State Representative District 13. U’i Kahue-Cabanting of Ho’olehua is running for OHA Trustee At-Large. 

In 2020, Hawaii switched to an all-mail voting system. Though residents will receive their ballot through the postal service instead of going to a polling place to cast their vote, an on-island voter service station at Mitchell Pauole Center is still open for assistance or return of completed ballots. It will be open Aug. 1 to Aug. 12, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 13 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you change your mind or make a mistake, please contact the Maui County Clerk’s office at (808) 270-7749 for a replacement ballot. Do not use white-out or cross out a choice and initial, as this will invalidate your ballot.

Complete your ballot by filling in the box to the left of your choice with a black or blue pen, place voted ballot into ballot secrecy sleeve, then into the self-addressed postage-paid return envelope, seal, sign the affirmation statement on the return envelope, and mail. Voters must sign the return envelope for their ballot to be counted. It must be received by the County Elections Division by Aug. 13. If returning your ballot via the Postal Service, county officials strongly recommended that you drop it in the mail at least five days before Election Day to ensure it is received by the deadline.

For more information on voting, visit elections.hawaii.gov or call the Maui County Office of the County Clerks at (808) 270-7749.


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