OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs


Aloha Rising. Vote 2020. is a new campaign designed to engage young, first time Native Hawaiian voters. In the months leading up to the 2020 Primary and General Elections, we will be sharing information on how to register to vote and how to vote with the new mail-in ballot system. We also want to make sure new voters are making informed decisions when they cast their ballot, so we will be sharing candidate responses to issues that affect the lāhui and encourage voters to tune in to candidate debates so you can vote for the candidates that align with your stances on the issues that affect our way of life in Hawaiʻi nei.

Step 1: Register to Vote

It’s easy to register to vote, all you need is your:

  1. Current Hawaii Driver’s License or Hawaii State ID card and
  2. Social Security Number

It will take about 5 minutes to complete the online registration form. Click on the button to get started.

Register to Vote

Step 2: Become an Educated Voter

>> View your personalized Primary Election ballot

The Office of Elections has free online previews of your official ballot, which lists the candidates in your area.

>> Research the candidates

Get informed on where the candidates stand on issues of importance. The July 2020 Election Issue of Ka Wai Ola has surveyed all of the candidates to find out where they stand on the issues that affect you. Visit KaWaiOla.News to start learning about the candidates and which ones align with your views.

>> Watch Candidate Forums

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has partnered with ʻŌiwi TV to bring you three live-streamed OHA Trustee candidate forums. It is your opportunity to learn about the OHA Trustee candidates in all FOUR races, their experience, and their positions so you can make an informed decision in the 2020 elections. Tune in on July 2, 9 & 14 at 6pm to www.oha.org/aloharising and on the OHA Facebook page.

OHA Trustee Candidate Forums: July 2020

Meet the Hawaiʻi Island Trustee Candidates

Meet 10 of the candidates running for Hawaiʻi Island Trustee: Kauilani Almeida, Noelani Cashman-Aiu, Laura DeSoto-McCollough, Louis Hao, Cyd Hoffeld, Pua Ishibashi, Lei Kihoi, Keola Lindsey, Lanakila Mangauil and Kalaniakea Wilson.

Meet the Moloka’i and Kaua’i Trustee Candidates

Meet the three Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi Trustee Candidates: Luana Alapa, Uʻi Kahue-Cabanting and Colette Machado; and the three Kauaʻi and Niʻihau candidates: Dan Ahuna, Brittny Perez and Kamealoha Smith.

Meet the At-Large Trustee Candidates

Meet the candidates running for OHA At-Large: Keliʻi Akina, Jackie Burke, Kaipo Hanakahi, Larry Kawaauhau, Shane Akoni Palacat-Nelsen, Keoni Souza. Voters from all islands can vote for the At-Large Trustee.

Step 3: Vote By Mail

Ballots will start being sent on July 21st, 2020. Look for your ballot in the mail. It will include:

1 - Ballot
Before voting your ballot, review instructions and the contests and candidates on both sides of the ballot. To vote, completely darken in the box to the left of the candidate using a black or blue pen.
2 - Secret Ballot Envelope
After voting your ballot, re-fold it and seal it in the secret ballot envelope. The secret ballot envelope ensures your right to secrecy as the ballots are opened and prepared for counting. Once sealed, place the secret ballot envelope in the return envelope.

3 - Return Envelope
Read the affirmation statement and sign the return envelope before returning it to the Clerk’s Office. Upon receipt of your return envelope, the Clerk’s Office validates the signature on the envelope. After your signature is validated your ballot will be counted.

Returning your voted ballot by mail:
The return envelope is postage paid via the U.S. Postal Service and addressed to your Clerk’s Office. Your ballot should be mailed 2-3 days prior to Election Day to ensure it is received by the deadline, August 8th by 7:00 pm.

For more info please visit:
elections.hawaii.gov OR www.oha.org/vote

Watch the Aloha Rising Webinar Series

The eight week online civic engagement workshop series is one component of OHA’s Aloha Rising Vote 2020 campaign to increase civic engagement amongst Native Hawaiians. The weekly one-hour program is presented in partnership with Kanaeokana, and will feature Kumu Hina sharing mele and community experts discussing the history of civic engagement amongst the Native Hawaiian community. The series will cover a broad range of topics centered on ʻōiwi civic engagement and history through a cultural lens. Each program will end with a mele that all participants can join together and sing.

Tune in to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs FacebookKanaeokana Facebook and our other partner pages every Thursday at 2pm through May and June.

In July, the focus of the Aloha Rising Webinar Series shifts to the OHA Trustee Candidates and will move to an evening program. See above for details.

Episode #1 – May 7, 2020

A Historical Overview of ʻŌiwi Civic Engagement with Davis Price and mele with Kumu Hina.

Episode #2 – May 14, 2020

Land Tenure and Leadership in Ancient Hawaiʻi vs Today with Kamana Beamer and new mele with Kumu Hina.

Episode #3 – May 21, 2020

ʻOnipaʻa Mau: Political Organizing and Engagement of Native Hawaiians in the Territorial Era with Kawika Burgess and a review of past mele with Kumu Hina.

Episode #4 – May 28, 2020

Huliau Hou i Ke Aloha ʻĀina: Political Organizing in the Hawaiian Renaissance and the 1978 Con-Con with Gov. John Waiheʻe & Kumu Hina.

Episode #5 – June 4, 2020

Addressing recent civil unrest, police brutality and racism with Professor Ken Lawson, Co-Director of the Hawai‘i Innocence Project at the William S. Richardson Law School where he teaches Civil Rights Clinic and Criminal Law.

Episode #6 – June 11, 2020

Exercising Community Voice: Opinion-Editorial Writing with Trisha Kehaulani Watson, J.D., Ph. D. and more original mele with Kumu Hina.

Episode #7 – June 18, 2020

Connecting Kuleana Through Mele Workshop: Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong will be teaches the mele Kū Haʻaheo a kuʻu Hawaiʻi (Stand tall my Hawaiʻi).

Episode #8 – June 25, 2020

Andre Perez discusses the history of activism & non-violent direct action in Hawaiʻi and Kumu Hina shares Mele Kaulana Wale Kuʻu ʻĀina ʻo Kalihi.

Episode #9 – July 23, 2020

Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong and Davis Price discuss the mail-in voting process and the kuleana to vote in this yearʻs election.

Tune in to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs FacebookKanaeokana Facebook and our other partner pages every Thursday at 2pm through May and June to watch more.

Aloha Rising Survey Results

OHA’s Aloha Rising series launched with an online survey on January 15, 2020, Opening Day at the Hawai‘i State Legislature. Our goal was to hear directly from the community. The survey was open from January 15 to February 15 and the question was posed: what’s important to you? Over 2,700 people participated in the survey with 88% self-identifying as Native Hawaiian or Part Hawaiian. Responses came from across Hawai‘i, from 41 states on the continent, and from three U.S. territories. According to our survey results:

  • 88% of respondents plan on voting this year
  • Most respondents (78%) participated in a Hawaiian cultural activity within the past year
  • The average rating of elected officials’ decisions was 2.17 (out of 5), or “Extremely Dissatisfied”
  • Most important Hawai‘i issues: 1) Affordable homeownership; 2) Proper management of land and water resources; 3) Native Hawaiian representation in government; 4) Poverty in Hawai’i; and 5) Access to Hawaiian Homelands
  • Half of the respondents did not know about Hawai‘i’s new all-mail-in voting process

Guided by the results of this survey, the Aloha Rising Vote 2020 campaign aims to encourage more Native Hawaiians to vote and to participate in the political process. Our efforts will take place throughout the year leading up to the primary and general elections, being held on August 8 and November 3, respectively. In light of COVID-19 concerns, Aloha Rising educational activities are being reconfigured to take advantage of online sharing platforms. Whether the events are hosted digitally or in-person, the information shared will focus on the cultural importance of community building and political participation with sharing of mo‘olelo and mele by Kumu Hina; and a practical training on mail-in voting.

Remember: 2020 is the first year that Hawai‘i is doing all-mail-in ballots for both the primary and general elections. Be sure to register to vote and that your current address is registered to ensure that you receive your ballot in the mail. Also, keep in mind that precinct polling locations will not exist this year, and walk-in voting will only be available at specific locations during specific times.

Your vote is your voice in what you think Hawaiʻi’s future should be, how our traditions and resources should be sustained, and who are the best people to lead us. Simply put: Hawaiian voters means that Hawaiian issues will be addressed by our legislators. Your voice is part of a chorus, calling for a strong and vibrant lāhui.

Archive: 2018 Get out the vote campaign

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