Every Hawaii voter deserves to be heard!
Do you agree that everyone–regardless of political affiliation–has a right to have their vote count? Because Hawaii’s current registration system relies largely on outdated, multi-step processes, voter rolls can be subject to error which can result in consequences that directly affect the voter.
We believe democracy works best when everyone participates and all voices are heard through a vote of the people. As the state with the lowest voter turnout in the country, we must look for ways to make our elections more accessible, efficient, and convenient for everyone.
Modern Elections Hawaii is a statewide coalition of grassroots groups, established organizations, and everyday citizens dedicated to overcoming these systemic issues and fighting to modernize our elections. Our goal is to pass simple solutions to improve our elections and reduce barriers to voting to increase voter turnout.
Here’s the problem:
Just 43% of eligible Hawaii voters cast ballots in 2016, giving our state the lowest turnout in the nation for the fifth presidential election in a row.
We cannot ignore the growing pro-democracy movement, from communities and states across the country, reacting to unprecedented threats we the people face with respect to self-governance. We must work together–Democrats, Republicans, small parties, and independents–to restore balance to our democracy; put a check on the wealthy special interests trying to change the rules and write the voice of the people out of our democracy.
We must remind them the Constitution says the people ARE the power, and the best way to do that is by diminishing barriers to participation and increasing voter turnout. As the state with the lowest voter turnout we ask that you join us as we work to accomplish this goal and bring Hawaii’s elections into the 21st century.
We have a simple four-point-plan to give Hawaii voters the 21st century democracy we deserve. We will not relax our efforts until common sense election reforms are in place to benefit the common good.
Vote By Mail
Under Vote By Mail (VBM) a ballot is mailed to every registered voter, no request or application is necessary. Voters are then able to return their ballot via mail or at a drop-off location; or cast their vote in person at early voting centers or service centers on Election Day.
- Provides more flexibility and creates more opportunities for people to participate and vote.
- Will save the state money. The Hawaii State Office of Elections estimates approximately $750 thousand would be saved in each election cycle by converting to Voting by Mail.
- Would alleviate pressure on poll sites and workers, and save time on Election Day.
- Bills to watch in 2018: HB2541 HD1 (Dead for 2018), HB1401 HD1 SD1 (Introduced in 2017, passed out of Conference, sent to Governor for signature), SB2292 (Dead for 2018), SB3015 (Dead for 2018)
Automatic Voter Registration
Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is a small technical change that would automatically register eligible citizens who apply for/renew their Hawaii Drivers’ License/State ID unless they choose to opt out. Information would be electronically transferred from the licensing agency to election officials, ensuring the registration process is convenient, accurate, and secure.
- Would increase the security of our elections with frequent updates to the voter rolls.
- Is efficient, which will lead to cost savings. It costs almost 30 times more to process a paper application versus an electronic one.
- Helps ensure that voting isn’t needlessly difficult for working and military families who move frequently, as well as homebound seniors, students, and voters in rural areas.
- Bills to watch in 2018: HB2552 (Dead for 2018), SB2232 (Dead for 2018), SB2210 (Dead for 2018)
Ranked Choice Voting
Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) allows voters to rank candidates in the order of their choice. Candidates do best when they attract a strong core of first-choice support while also reaching out for second and third choices. RCV helps elect a candidate that better reflects the support of a majority of voters.
- Promotes fairness. Results are grounded in majority rule. This means the winner is more representative.
- Encourages civil elections. Candidates have more incentives to debate the issues.
- Eliminates the spoiler effect. Voting for a candidate in third place or lower does not “split the vote” for the majority.
- Bills to watch in 2018: HB179 HD1 (Dead for 2018), SB218 (Dead for 2018), HB2444 (Dead for 2018)
Citizen Funded Elections
There are several types of Citizen Funded Elections, but all share the common goal of offsetting the big money flood in elections with small-donor contributions. In one popular version, candidates running for elective office are awarded a competitive amount of money by the state to run a competitive campaign. In order to qualify for this program, the candidate must raise small amounts of money, which the state will then match. Candidates agree to follow certain restrictions and spending limits.
- Allows legislators to spend more time interacting with constituents and less time fundraising.
- Increases the number of donors. Lobbyists influence begins to decline with public financing.
- Ensures more regular people are able to run for office.
- Bills to watch in 2018: HB443 (Dead for 2018)
Spread The Word
Help modernize elections in Hawaii by spreading the word about this campaign!
We can make a difference
Did you know millennials are now the largest living generation in control of the American electorate? With that kind of power, when we come together to demand change the results can be extraordinary.
Send A Message
Write a letter to your Hawaii state lawmakers urging them to enact the Modern Elections Hawaii reform package!
Making A Difference
Thanks to your support, Same Day Voter Registration will be available statewide in 2018
Make A Call
Here are some resources to help spread the word about Modern Elections Hawaii!
Every vote counts!
In 2010, the candidate who became Honolulu Council chairman won by fewer than 50 votes.