Can felons vote in Hawaii? Surprisingly, in many cases the answer is “Yes”.
Hawaii law provides that a person sentenced for a felony loses their right to vote only from the time of sentencing to final discharge. HRS 831-2. Specifically, “[a] person sentenced for a felony, from the time of the person’s sentence until the person’s final discharge, may not: (1) Vote in an election, but if the defendant is placed on probation or the defendant is paroled after commitment to imprisonment, the defendant may vote during the period of the probation or parole …”
However, and most importantly, a person who has been placed on probation or parole for a felony CAN vote while they are on probation or parole.
A person with a felony charge in Hawaii can vote when:
- Their felony charge is pending, because there has not yet been a conviction
- While on deferral such as a DAG or DANC, again because there has not yet been a conviction
- When placed on probation
- If sentenced to prison, after release to parole
- After probation or parole is completed
Some persons are in jail either awaiting trial or sentencing, or who have been sentenced for a misdemeanor only. These individuals can still vote but must request an absentee ballot.
When a felon has been released from jail or prison, their right to vote is restored automatically. However, they must register to vote or re-register to vote before they can exercise that right.
As with all things legal, your specific circumstances may have a different result than the norm, so it is important to consult with an attorney in detail before taking action such as voting after conviction for a felony. Blog posts are not legal advice. Contact us to schedule a consultation about your specific case.