“The United States maintains a shortsighted and punitive set of laws, some of them dating back to Reconstruction, denying the vote to people who have committed felonies. They will bar about 5.85 million people from voting in this year’s election…Nationally, nearly half of those affected have completed their sentences, including parole or probation. Policies that deny voting rights to people who have paid their debt to society offend fundamental tenets of democracy. But the problem is made even worse by state and local election officials so poorly informed about the law that they misinform or turn away people who have a legal right to vote.” (Wrongly Turning Away Ex-Offenders, The New York Times, Nov. 3, 2012)
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:
Voting in Hawai‘i 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-registerto 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.
Problems Voting in Hawai‘i?
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
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) 6687-8683 email@example.com
Here for a State-By-State Guide on voting with a criminal conviction
Here for comprehensive information on Voting Rights & Elections from the Brennan Center for Justice