Avoiding The Lines, Avoiding The Chaos,  But Not Avoiding Your Civic Duty

To everyone who values civic engagement and who yearns for a government that is responsive, transparent, and values-based.

You gotta vote.  There are many excellent candidates that can make real change happen, but for them to serve – you need to vote. Here are 17 candidates running for the State House of Representatives that if elected could change the face, the culture, and the direction of policy and politics in Hawaii. https://garyhooser.blog/2020/06/14/rebuilding-the-house-an-almost-complete-list-of-phi-endorsed-candidates/

The upcoming August 8 primary election actually starts in only 3 weeks, when ballots will begin arriving in the mailbox of every registered voter in the state on or about July 21st.

TO RECEIVE A BALLOT IN THE MAIL, YOU MUST BE REGISTERED AND YOUR CORRECT MAILING ADDRESS MUST BE ON FILE AT THE OFFICE OF ELECTIONS BEFORE JULY 9! Visit the Office of Elections website to register to vote or update your information –  https://olvr.hawaii.gov 

Of course, if the Hawaii Legislature would pass SB2005 and institute Automatic Voter Registration (AVR), then you would already be registered and the information on file would be current. Read: https://garyhooser.blog/2019/01/20/the-reforms-that-make-all-other-reforms-possible-starting-with-automatic-voter-registration/

This will be the first regular election that is “all mail-in.” Every registered voter in the state will receive a ballot in the mail and every one of those ballots must be received by the office of elections by August 8th. This is important so I will repeat. For your vote to count, it must be received by August 8th – not mailed by August 8th but RECEIVED.

Yes, you can register and vote on the same day of August 8th but trust me on this one – August 8th is going to be a crazy day for people who wait until the last minute. There will only be two locations on the entire island of Oahu for people to “vote in person” or receive personal assistance on election day, August 8th.  Locations for “vote in person” options on every island will be very limited.

In addition, as you and I both know so very well – many would-be voters will wake up on August 8th and “not be able to find their ballot,” or claim they never got one, or inadvertently “spoil” their ballot and need a replacement. All of these voters will require “in-person” help. At best the main problem will be long lines, but complete chaos on August 8th is not an unlikely scenario.

Imagine for a second what August 8th could be like when an unknown number of voters wake up that morning and go “Oh poop! I forgot to put my ballot in the mail. I need to go down, drop off my ballot and/or vote in person.” On this same day, an also unknown number of new voters are going to have a similar epiphany and realize they forgot to register to vote. 

These hapless but well-intentioned souls will then head to whatever location they have gone to in the past, only to find it is closed. Then, they will call the office of elections to find out where they should go – and that number, of course, will be busy. When and if they eventually find the correct location and arrive there – the line will for sure, already be stretched around the block and then some.

So trust me on this. When the ballots arrive on or about July 21st, please exercise your civic duty and vote promptly. Don’t throw the ballot away thinking it’s junk mail and don’t throw it in the pile on the kitchen table to “look at later” and then end up spending your Saturday on August 8th standing in a long line wishing you were somewhere else.

Your vote matters. Please share this message with friends and family and double-check to make sure you are registered and the correct address is on file. It’s easy, just go to https://olvr.hawaii.gov

And after you do that, please contact your legislator and ask them to schedule and pass SB2005 this year, and pave the way for making it much easier to vote in future elections.

Mahalo for taking ownership of your government.


Gary Hooser

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About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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