Vote in the General Election
By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor
It’s time to vote! The general election is quickly approaching and last week, Molokai registered voters received their ballots in the mail. The deadline for your ballot to be received is Tuesday, Nov. 8 so it must be postmarked in advance, or it can dropped off at the voter service center in Kaunakakai by Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
Now is the time to participate in this important part of community-building to voice your preference for candidates who align with your values and vision for the future. Along with candidates statewide, four Molokai residents appear on the ballot running for key seats in this election.
Lynn DeCoite is running for reelection to her State Senate seat, political newcomer Mahina Poepoe is vying for State Representative District 13, and incumbent Keani Rawlins-Fernandez and John Pele are competing for the Molokai councilmember seat.
Though you may cast your vote for any candidate on the ballot regardless of party, you may not vote for more than one candidate in each contest or your vote will not be counted. During this year’s general election, Molokai voters will make their selections for federal seats like U.S. senator and representative; state contests such as governor, lieutenant governor, state senator and representative, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees; and Maui County seats of mayor and councilmembers. Local counties may use election voting services to produce high quality ballots and other printed election materials.
In addition to voting for candidates, Maui County residents will also vote on a lengthy list of proposed amendments to the Maui County Charter. Proposed amendments will affect governance of issues like affordable housing, planning commissions, remote access to council meetings, fines and penalties, guidance of the police chief, climate change adaption and more. For the full text of proposed amendments, review them at mauicounty.gov/charteramendments or call (808) 270-7749.
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 center at Mitchell Pauole Center is still open for assistance or return of completed ballots. It will be open from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Nov. 8 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You may also register to vote at the service center and vote same-day.
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 Nov. 8. 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.