Election security is of great importance for election officials and voters alike. Hawaii’s 2020 primary election on Aug. 8 will be the first statewide election conducted by mail and no traditional polling places will be opened. Instead, all voters will automatically receive a ballot in the mail.

One of the many ways we ensure the integrity and security of our elections is by verifying a voter’s signature on their ballot return envelope, similar to the way financial institutions verify signatures on checks.

Be on the lookout for an election mailing in April asking for a current sample of your signature, as we know signatures sometimes evolve over time. In the space provided, use a black or blue pen to sign your card. It is imperative that only you sign your card, as signing for another may result in voter fraud which is a Class C Felony.

Then fold the card, so your signature is hidden, and drop it back in the mail. The postcard is pre-addressed and postage-paid, so no stamps are needed.

When your postcard is returned, an image of your signature will be stored with your record in the voter registration database. This image will then be used during each election to confirm your identity in order to validate your ballot. Without your signature, your ballot cannot be counted.

This year is the first that most of Hawaii’s voting will be conducted by mail. The Office of Elections is advising voters how to make sure they are properly signed up for the new system.

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You will receive your ballot, including a personalized pre-addressed, postage-paid return envelope, 18 days prior to each election. When returning your ballot, you are required to sign your return envelope.

Upon receipt, your County Elections Division will validate it by matching the signature provided to the signature image in the voter registration database. If your signature matches, your ballot will be counted.

We are asking all voters to provide a current sample of their signature, now, to ensure signatures match as ballots are validated for counting. Securing the elections and ensuring all ballots are counted cannot be done without your assistance.

Be on the lookout for an election mailing in April asking for a current signature.

If there is no signature on the return envelope or it does not match your record, the County Elections Division will notify you and you will have up to 5 business days after the election to correct it in order for your ballot to be counted.

But why wait?

Signing and returning your signature capture card now ensures we have your most current signature on file. Whether the 2020 primary election is your first or 10th election voting by mail, the steps you take now prepares your ballot to be processed efficiently. Return your signature capture card, sign your ballot return envelope, and make sure your voice is heard.

If you do not receive a signature capture card in the mail, check your voter registration online at olvr.hawaii.gov or by contacting the Office of Elections.

For more information about elections by mail, contact the Office of Elections at (808) 453-VOTE (8683) or elections@hawaii.gov and follow us @elections808 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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