Hawaii’s 2014 primary elections was the first election where there were more early votes than ballots cast at the polls on election day.
56 percent (163,668 voters) chose to vote early. About 83 percent of these early voters did so by mail.
The trend towards more mail-in voting has changed the way political campaigns are run as voters are making their decisions earlier.
There have been a number of bills proposed in the legislature to make Hawaii the fourth state with all mail-in voting. Currently Oregon, Washington State, and Colorado have vote-by-mail elections.
In 2013, SB854 was introduced in the Senate and passed the Committee on Judiciary and Labor (JDL). Support for the bill came from the League of Women Voters, American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, and two private individuals. Five private individuals testified against the measure.
Election officials submitted comments on the bill citing logistic concerns and cost.
The bill was deferred.
The voter registration deadline for the 2014 general election is Oct. 6, and the mail-in absentee application deadline is Oct. 28.
Walk-in early voting starts on Oct. 21 and runs through Nov. 1.