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Hawaii Moves Toward Always Voting by Mail

Legislators in Hawaii this week began debating a range of election measures including a proposal to make the archipelago the fourth state in the nation that conducts all voting by mail.

Mail ballots are now an option and have outnumbered those cast at traditional polling places since 2014. A bill starting to move in the legislature would shift Hawaii to an exclusively mail-in system in 2022. Previous have been passed by the state Senate but ignored in the state House. However, Democratic majority leaders in both chambers say they are supportive of the reform this session, Honolulu Civic Beat reports.

The three states with such a system now are Oregon, Washington and Colorado.

Another measures high on the agenda would revive automatic recounts in close races – a hot topic given how a recent, disputed city council race was decided by 22 votes after the courts ruled against counting some ballots. Hawaii had recounts until the 1970s, when close contests were turned over to the court system.

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