ELECTION DAY: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2012
Here for Voter Registration Info
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:
Voting in Hawaii If You Are Incarcerated and/or Have a Felony Conviction
- If you were convicted of a felony in a state or federal court, you can vote if you are not currently incarcerated.
- If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, you can vote, but you have to vote by absentee ballot if you are still incarcerated.
- Once you have been released from incarceration, you must register or re-register to vote.You do not need to show any special documentation.
- If you don’t have photo or other identification, you will be asked your birthday and residence address to corroborate the information provided in the poll book.
If you have any problems voting, ask to immediately speak with the Voting Assistance Official and/or the Precinct Chair (or whoever is in charge of giving you a registration form/absentee ballot). If that person refuses or is unable to assist you, ask that they contact the Office of Elections via the voting hotline. If you are still not satisfied that you are able to exercise your right to vote, please contact the ACLU of Hawaii
If you are incarcerated for a misdemeanor conviction or you are a pre-trial detainee and you encounter difficulties obtaining and/or submitting a registration form and/or absentee ballot, please immediately contact the ACLU of Hawaii or the Office of Elections.
ACLU of Hawaii P.O. Box 3410 Honolulu, HI 96801 (808) 522-5900 firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Elections 802 Lehua Ave. Pearl City, HI 96782 (866) 6(808) 522-5900 email@example.com
Who Is Disfranchised in Hawaii?
An estimated 6,014 people are barred from voting in Hawaii. This includes individuals incarcerated in Hawaii along with Hawaii prisoners in for-profit mainland facilities.
Voter suppression laws, including felony disfranchisement, disproportionately impact people and communities of color.
In Hawaii, Native Hawaiians are more likely to be sentenced to prison and lose their voting rights than any other group. The development of felony disfranchisement law is tied to the history of racial discrimination in America. In 1870, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, the Fifteenth Amendment was passed banning race-based disfranchisement. In order to restrict the political participation of newly enfranchised African-Americans, Southern states began to use criminal disfranchisement laws as a tool to suppress the African-American vote. While disfranchisement laws already existed, a number of Southern states tailored their laws to target African-Americans. For example, Mississippi revised its constitution to impose disfranchisement as a penalty specifically for crimes of which African-Americans were most frequently convicted. Over 100 years later, these laws remain in effect.
- The United States disfranchises more individuals than any other nation in the world.
- Around 6,000 Hawaii residents are barred from voting because of the state’s felony disfranchisement law.
- Native Hawaiians make up almost 40% of convicted felons in the state – despite comprising only 20% of the total population.
- Around 2340 Native Hawaiians are barred from voting because of Hawaii’s felony disfranchisement law.
- Native Hawaiians are denied their right to vote at a rate nearly three times higher than that of the general population.
The scope and impact of the disenfranchisement laws in the United States are beyond comparison, especially with regard to the continued deprivation of voting rights after incarceration. Of the 5.3 million Americans barred from voting due to a criminal conviction, most of which are non-violent in nature, thirty-nine percent have fully completed their sentences, including probation and parole, yet such individuals are still deprived of their right to vote. In several states, people with criminal records encounter a variety of other barriers to voting, including, most often, cumbersome restoration processes or lengthy waiting periods before rights restoration applications may even be submitted.
The ACLU is fighting to restore the voting rights of formerly incarcerated people so that they, like all Americans, can exercise their political voice.