The new Hawaii County (temporary) Elections Administrator, Lehua Iopa, said Wednesday that the first round of absentee ballots should be in the mail Monday, October 15, or shortly thereafter. The last day to request an absentee ballot, either for this election only or to receive permanent absentee ballots, is October 30.
Absentee ballots may be returned by mail or taken to the Hawaii County Elections offices in Kona at West Hawaii Civic Center and in Hilo at 25 Aupuni Center. Iopa said they may also be returned to any of the three walk-in absentee polling places between October 23 and November 3, at West Hawaii Civic Center, Waimea Community Center, or Aupuni Center Conference Room.
Iopa said more than 104,000 voters are registered in Hawaii County now. For the Primary on August 11, the number of registered voters was 101,728. The County Elections office is still inputting all those who registered since the deadline for the Primary, so the 104,000 is an early estimate. Since Hawaii County’s population is 186,739 (Census Bureau’s 2011 estimate), and 144,535 are 18 or over, that means more than 77% of our age-eligible island residents are registered to vote.
More than 20,000 people have requested absentee ballots.
In the 2010 General Election, Hawaii County’s voter turnout was 53.3%. In the August 11, 2012 Primary, voter turnout was 42.6%. More than half of those voted by absentee ballot, either mail-in ballot or early walk-in.