It is hard to believe it, but the election season is just around the corner.
Each year, the Maui Chamber of Commerce encourages residents to get out and vote by sharing important information and conducting voter registration campaigns. With an earlier-than-usual primary election, on Aug. 9, we wanted to get information out earlier as key dates are fast approaching.
Here are the dates to know:
* Filing deadline to run for office is June 3, by 4:30 p.m.
* Voter registration deadline for the primary election is July 10. Applications must be postmarked by the deadline date.
* Early walk-in voting for the primary election is from July 28 to Aug. 7.
* Last day to submit absentee mail application for the primary election is Aug. 2. It must be received by the County Clerk's Office by 4:30 p.m. on that date.
* Primary election will be held Aug. 9, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
* Voter registration deadline for the general election is Oct. 6. Applications must be postmarked by the deadline date.
* Early walk-in voting for the general election is from Oct. 21 to Nov. 1.
* Last day to submit absentee mail application for the general election is Oct. 28. It must be received by the County Clerk's Office by 4:30 p.m. on that date.
* General election will be held Nov. 4, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to voter registration include:
Who is eligible to vote?
Registered voters. To register to vote in Hawaii, one must meet the following qualifications: be a United States citizen; be a legal resident of Hawaii; and be 18 years of age or older on Election Day. (Note that incarcerated felons and people adjudicated mentally incompetent are not allowed to vote.)
How do I register to vote?
Voter registration forms, known as the Affidavit on Application for Voter Registration, must be mailed no later than 30 days prior to the election you wish to vote in. It can be delivered in person or mailed to the Maui County Clerk's Office. It must be received by the Maui County Clerk's office no later than 4:30 p.m. on the registration deadline day.
Where do I find the Affidavit on Application for Voter Registration?
They are available at: public libraries, U.S. Post Offices, telephone directories, state services agencies, the University of Hawaii, the state Office of Elections website (hawaii.gov/elections) and the Maui Chamber of Commerce.
Do I need to re-register to vote if I voted in Hawaii in the past?
If you changed your address or changed your name, you must re-register to vote. You can complete the Wikiwiki Voter Registration & Permanent Absentee form and deliver it to the Maui County Clerk's Office by mail or in person. Your record will be updated upon receipt of a properly completed form.
Where can I get additional information, learn about requirements for first-time voters and find out more about absentee voting?
Information for this article came from the state Office of Elections website at www.hawaii.gov/elections. There you can find the needed voter registration and absentee voting forms, along with everything you need to know about the 2014 election. You may also contact the Maui County Clerk's office at 270-7749.
We hope this information helps you prepare for the coming election. Voting is a right, a privilege and a duty, and we encourage all who are eligible to get out and vote this election season.
* Pamela Tumpap is president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce.