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Voting in the General Election

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Election Day is fast approaching on Nov. 3 but with Hawaii’s fully mail-in ballot system in place this year, the deadline to cast your ballot is coming even sooner. Maui County ballot packages will be mailed to Molokai residents on Thursday, Oct. 8, according to County Clerk Kathy Kaohu.

In this general election, Molokai voters will be helping to decide the new U.S. president and vice president, along with a number of local political representatives and proposed amendments to the Maui County charter. Unlike in the primary election, voters can cast their ballot for any candidate, regardless of political party.

Molokai’s incumbent Democratic District 13 representative, Lynn DeCoite, is facing Aloha Aina Party’s Theresa Kapaku and Republican Robin Vanderpool. Office of Hawaiian Affairs Molokai seat is up for grabs, with incumbent Colette Machado being challenged by Luana Alapa. Molokai residents will also vote for Hawaii Island and At-Large OHA trustees.

In the County of Maui races, Molokai’s incumbent councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez and former councilmember Stacy Helm Crivello will be facing off in a highly contested race. Voters will also decide on other Maui County council seats.

On the back of the ballot, Molokai voters can make their voice heard on seven proposed amendments to the Maui County Charter relating to the Affordable Housing Fund, office of the Managing Director, term limits for Council Members, standards for Charter interpretation, Charter Commission, term limits for Mayor and the Department of Agriculture. For an overview of these proposals, which has been reviewed for objectivity by state and county attorneys, visit MauiCounty.us/maui-county-charter.

With ballots beginning to arrive in Molokai mailboxes on Oct. 9, the County Clerk’s office reminds registered voters to contact them at (808) 270-7749 if you haven’t received your ballot package by Oct. 16. You can also check to make sure you are registered and your address is correct online at elections.hawaii.gov.

Ballots must be received by Nov. 3 to be counted, so the Hawaii Elections office is advising ballots be postmarked no later than Oct. 27 to ensure they will arrive in time. However, if you miss that date, you can still vote by dropping off your ballot to the Molokai Voter Service Center at Mitchell Pauole Center Conference Room, which will be opening Oct. 20. There, you can also vote in person electronically if you prefer that method. You can even register to vote on the spot if you haven’t yet done so.

Hours of operation for the Voter Service Center will be Oct. 20 through Nov. 2, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Nov. 3 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ballots must be turned in to election officials by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 to be counted. No traditional polling places will be open this year on Election Day.

If you made a mistake on your mail-in ballot or would like to change your mind on a candidate, the Office of Elections warns you not to use whiteout on your ballot but instead request a new one or visit your Voting Service Center.

Kaohu reminds voters to sign the voter affirmation box on the return mail envelope or your vote won’t be counted. The return envelopes are first class postage paid, so no additional stamps are required to return the ballots to the address on the envelope.

For voting questions, contact the office of the County Clerk at (808) 270-7749 or visit elections.hawaii.gov.

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