[Image via elections.hawaii.gov]

Hawaii’s election office is asking all voters to update their signatures in preparation for the state’s transition to vote by mail in 2020. Here’s the state’s news release:

Hawai‘i voters are being asked to update their signatures.

Every registered voter in the state should be on the lookout for a signature capture card in their mailbox. Hawai‘i election officials are asking voters to provide a current sample of their signatures to attach to their voter registration records.

“A voter’s signature sometimes changes over time and we want to make sure we have their current signature to validate their ballot for the upcoming elections,” said Scott Nago, Chief Election Officer. “We need voters to submit their signatures now, especially now during these uncertain times, to ensure their ballot can be counted.”

Each signature capture card is directly addressed to the voter. Voters should sign their card in the space provided using a black or blue pen, fold it so their signature is hidden and drop it back in the mail. The signature capture card is pre-addressed and postage-paid.

The 2020 Primary Election will be the first statewide election conducted by mail and no traditional polling places will be opened on Election Day. Instead, registered voters will automatically receive a ballot 18-days prior to each election. As voters return their ballots, they are required to sign the postage-paid return envelope for the County Elections Divisions to confirm their identity and validate for counting. This check is one of the ways election officials ensure the security and integrity of the elections.

Voters who do not receive a signature capture card should check their voter registration by visiting olvr.hawaii.gov or by calling the Office of Elections at 808-453-8683.

To view a sample of the signature capture card and to learn more about voting by mail, visit the Office of Elections’ website at elections.hawaii.gov.

This mailing is just one of many steps the Aloha State is taking to get ready for the statewide primary in August and this November’s general election. I’ll be curious to see what kind of response the state gets to the mailing, and what challenges may arise for voters who don’t update their signatures before ballots are mailed this fall. Hawaii’s experience may also be illuminating for election officials across the nation who are planning to ramp up their reliance on mailed ballots in response to coronavirus concerns. Stay tuned …