If you’ve joined the growing number of Hawaii residents who vote by mail, your ballot for the Nov. 8 general election may well be sitting on your coffee table.

And you may have long since decided who your choice is for president — it seems like the campaign season began shortly after Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term.

But don’t be too quick to tackle that ballot. There are plenty of other decisions to make, especially on Oahu, where the late developments keep coming in the Honolulu mayor’s race, and where there are, count ’em, 20 proposed amendments to the County Charter.

Lucky rests as left, Nancy Lim and husband, right Kyu Lim cast their vote at McKinley High School during the Primary Elections. 13 aug 2016
Lucky gets some rest as the dog’s owners cast their ballots at McKinley High School during the primary. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

In an era when so many voters mail it in (56.5 percent of all voters in Hawaii’s August primary), news organizations struggle to time their election coverage to best serve both the early voters and the traditionalists who prefer to go to the polls on Election Day.

Civil Beat is no exception. We’ve published dozens of election articles since the primary concluded, including The Civil Beat Poll and Ad Watches, but we still have more to roll out in the coming days.

This will include wrap-ups of the congressional contests and the most compelling legislative races; some unique videos focused on the mayoral candidates; ongoing coverage of those Honolulu charter amendments; the final campaign finance figures available pre-election, and a couple of proposed changes to the state constitution.

Hawaii Elections Guide 2016

Need a scorecard? We’ve got one, in the form of our Hawaii Election 2016: General Election Ballot, which lists all the candidates and issues on ballots in the islands. It’s also chock-full of links to our candidate Q&As and other election coverage.

Still have questions about the how the election works? We’ve got you covered there as well with our Hawaii Elections Guide 2016.

More than 740,000 people had registered to vote in Hawaii as of Oct. 10, which was the deadline to do so online. But this year there is also an option for late registration. It has to be done in person at one of the early voting stations that open Tuesday and continue through Nov. 5. Go to the Office of Elections website and click on “Voters” to learn more about that.

If you’re already registered, you actually have until Nov. 1 to request a mail ballot from your county clerk’s office. But keep in mind that mail ballots have to be in the hands of the vote-counters by 6 p.m. on Election Day. During the primary, more than 1,600 ballots arrived late and were never opened.

State elections officials hope to improve on the dismal voter turnout at the August primary, when only 34.7 percent of those eligible cast ballots.

Civil Beat has an additional hope: That voters will take the time to inform themselves about all the candidates and issues before casting their ballots — whether they’re already sitting on the coffee table or awaiting the Nov. 8 walk-in throng.

Get engaged! Join in the discussion of candidates and issues in the 2016 election in our Facebook Group, Civil Beat Politics. Connect with others and learn how to get involved in community issues.

About the Author