The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., but Hawaii also has a robust early voting process. In the Aug. 11 primary, 24 percent of registered voters dropped their ballots in the mail in the weeks before election day or walked in to polling places around the state. Of 286,180 people who voted, only 107,098 cast their ballots on primary election day.
One U.S. Senate seat in Hawaii and both of our U.S. House seats will be on the general election ballot.
There is also a race for governor and lieutenant governor.
Nineteen of the 51 House seats are up for election along with eight of the 25 state Senate seats.
Five of the nine seats on the Board of Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs will also be on the ballot — three at-large seats, one representing Oahu and one for Maui.
There is also a ballot question asking voters statewide whether they wish for Hawaii to convene a constitutional convention.
A proposed constitutional amendment to allow taxing investment properties to help pay for public education was ruled invalid by the Hawaii Supreme Court but will still appear on the ballot because it was too late to print new ones without it.
And all four counties have various charter questions specific to those counties.
Candidates who won their primaries and have no general election opponent are deemed to have won the office outright and their names won’t appear on the ballot. So they are not listed here.
In Hawaii, many statewide and legislative races are effectively decided in the primary because of the overwhelming dominance of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. So whichever Democrat wins the primary often goes on to prevail in the general election.
Hawaii allows candidates to run as independents if they choose not to join a political party. But nonpartisan candidates rarely progress past the primary election because state law requires them to get at least 10 percent of the total votes cast in the primary or as many votes as the winning partisan candidate who got the least number of votes.
County-level races as well as the contests for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs are nonpartisan. Candidates are not designated as Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens or any other affiliation.
Civil Beat has been analyzing the campaign cash flowing to candidates, looking at candidates as well as contributors, including political action committees. You can find those stories in our ongoing report, Cashing In.
We also review campaign ads — on TV, the internet, radio — and provide insight into what the candidates are trying to achieve as well as pointing out any questionable factual assertions. That’s a series we call Ad Watch.
Below you’ll find links to information on candidates and where they stand on important issues. Many candidates have already responded to our candidate questionnaires for congressional, statewide and legislative races, as well as for the county mayor and council races. We’ve asked those who didn’t respond before the primary to do so now and we’ll include them as they come in so check back frequently.
Voters will be asked to amend the state constitution:
Shall there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution?
City and County of Honolulu Charter Questions
Voters will be asked these questions: Shall the Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu 1973 (2017 Edition) relating to the board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (the “Board”) be amended:
To increase the number of Board members from ten to a maximum of fifteen;
To provide that the President of the Hawaii State Senate and the Speaker of the Hawaii State House of Representatives may each appoint up to two non-voting members, for terms to be determined by the appointing authority;
To provide that the City Council may appoint one additional voting member;
To specify that six members shall constitute a quorum; and
To specify that the affirmative vote of a majority of all voting members of the Board shall be necessary to take any action, and such action shall be made at a meeting open to the public?
Kauai County Charter Questions
Voters will be asked these questions:
Relating to the Public Defender — Shall the charter be amended by repealing Article IX, Public Defender, as this function is already provided by the State?
Relating to the Electric Power Authority — Shall the charter be amended by repealing Article XXX, which empowers the Council to create an electric power authority by ordinance?
Relating to the Zoning Board of Appeals — Shall Article XIV, Planning Department, Sections 14.01, 14.03, 14.12, 14.13, and 14.14 be amended by removing all references to the zoning board of appeals?
Relating to the Public Access, Open Space, Natural Resources Preservation Fund — Shall Article XIX, Financial Procedures, Section 19.15(C) be amended to permit the Public Access, Open Space, Natural Resources Preservation Fund to include improvements?
Relating to the Salary Commission — Shall Article XXIX, Salary Commission, Sections 29.01 and 29.03 be amended to give the salary commission authority to establish the maximum salaries of all elected and appointed officials, and to add the director of human resources and the director of finance as exofficio, non-voting members of the commission?
Relating to term limits for the office of Councilmember — Shall the term limit of office for Councilmembers be removed?
Maui County Charter Questions
Voters will be asked these questions:
Claims — Shall Section 13-6 of the Charter be amended, effective January 2, 2019, to require that claims be filed with the Corporation Counsel instead of the County Clerk?
Penalties — Shall the Charter be amended, effective January 2, 2019, to increase the penalty for the operation of a transient accommodation without a necessary permit from the current $1,000 amount to a civil fine of up to $20,000 plus $10,000 per day for each day the unlawful operation persists, unless a higher fine is authorized by State law, and to clarify that the current limit of a $1,000 fine for the violation of an ordinance is a limit of $1,000 per day the violation persists?
Open Space Fund — Shall the Charter be amended, effective January 2, 2019, to expand the uses of the Open Space, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, and Scenic Views Preservation Fund to authorize the fund to be used to perform safety and security improvements on lands acquired through the fund?
Hawaii County Charter Questions
Voters will be asked two questions:
Public Notice and Voting Requirements for the Salary Commission — Shall Article XIII of the County Charter be amended to require the Salary Commission to publish notification in two daily newspapers in the County, hold at least one public hearing, and provide a detailed report of its findings and conclusions for public inspection, all at least thirty (30) days prior to adopting any increase or decrease of a County elected official or appointed officer’s salary, and to further require that the Salary Commission approve by a two-thirds vote of its entire membership any salary increase or decrease greater than ten percent?
Fiscal Impact Statements for Amendments to the Hawaii County Charter — Shall Article XV of the County Charter be amended to require that any proposed amendment to the County Charter be accompanied by a Fiscal Impact Statement that describes the immediate and potential future effects that proposed amendment would have on County revenues, expenditures, taxes, and fiscal liabilities, and that the Fiscal Impact Statements be provided to voters no less than sixty (60) calendar days prior to the election where the proposed change is to be voted on by posting on the County website and by being made available for inclusion in any voter information pamphlet on County ballot propositions?
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