AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Hawaii’s election schedule is going ahead as planned. The Office of Elections says the primary will be held on August 8th. The elections will be held by mail – but in South Korea this week there was a very different experience — despite the challenging timing.

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On this edition of Bytemarks Café, an update on Automatic Voter Registration. With the legislative session in full swing, Common Cause comes back on the show to discuss bills introduced this session that drive civic engagement, and why it's important.

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Taiwan’s president was re-elected by a wide margin over the weekend. The election results were not a surprise, but they are significant on a number of levels.

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The United States is not the only government headed for a presidential election next year. In just over three weeks, voters in Taiwan will go to the polls to choose a leader.

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Hawaii lawmakers heard from election officials on Wednesday about efforts to move to mail ballot elections next year starting with the August primary, a transition that some legislators and community groups worry might cause problems for voters.

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A caretaker government remains in charge of the French overseas territory of New Caledonia after a new council failed to agree on who should be president. There are new problems and new players, but one overriding old problem: sovereignty.

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At least half a dozen people in Jakarta have been killed in rioting over the past several days. The protests followed the release of the official results of Indonesia’s presidential election.

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On Sunday, pro-independence supporters made slight gains in provincial elections in New Caledonia, but loyalist parties will hold on to their majority in congress. The vote has important implications for the future of the French territory. 

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Trade negotiations between China and the United States are a focus for global financial markets this week. But there’s another development involving China that also has implications for the United States.

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HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers have passed bills instituting all-mail voting and automatic recounts for races with narrow victory margins, measures lawmakers hope will boost voter turnout and confidence in elections.

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Members of parliament walked out to protest the election of a new Prime Minister in the Solomon Islands yesterday and afterwards, riots erupted in the capital, Honiara.

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This is campaign season in several places around Asia. India has already started voting in elections that will last for a month.  And in Indonesia, voters go to the polls tomorrow in one of the most complicated elections in the world.

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Australia's prime minister has just called for an election. That means that Australians will be going to the polls at a time when economic growth is slowing and political differences are growing.

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While U.S. politicians are already lining up for next year’s presidential election, there are a series of elections coming up much sooner in Asia. And they start this weekend in Thailand.

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Many in the United States remain focused on the continuing partial government shutdown. But in some parts of the world, attention is shifting to news about elections. And that includes one country that hasn’t had one for nearly a decade.

Kai Kahele

Hawaiʻi State Senator Kai Kahele recently announced his bid to run for U.S. Congress. If elected, Kahele would be the first neighbor island resident to represent the second congressional district, which is made up primarily of the neighbor islands.HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

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Ruling political parties in two countries suffered serious losses in local elections in the Asia Pacific over the weekend.

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A pair of elections in the Asia Pacific this weekend turned out to be big wins for candidates favored by China’s Beijing government. In Taiwan, the political party of the ruling president lost a series of mayoral races. And in Hong Kong, there was a defeat for a pro-democracy candidate.

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After all the votes were counted in Fiji this week, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was elected to a second four-year term, but his FijiFirst party barely cleared the 50 percent mark.

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The mid-term elections are now less than a week away in the United States, but in Southeast Asia an election scheduled for next year is getting more attention. The location is Thailand — where a number of political developments are taking place, and quickly.

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In Australia, the ruling Liberal National coalition took sobering losses in special parliamentary elections over the weekend. In today’s Pacific News Minute, Neal Conan considers the x-factor: Pie-gate.

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Pakistan is headed for a new government. Opposition parties are claiming election fraud, but it appears a coalition government will be put together by a former cricket star.

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This is election day in Malaysia. The Prime Minister is facing one of the biggest challenges of his political career, while voters go to the polls for national and state elections. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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In the elections held in French Polynesia over the weekend, the ruling party of President Edouard Fritch scored a decisive victory and will return to power with an expanded majority. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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Election Day is approaching in a country where the leader is lashing out against what he calls “fake news.” He’s also calling to make his country “great.” The themes may sound familiar, but the country is far from U.S. shores. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Commentary: Increasing Voter Turnout in Hawaiʻi

Mar 13, 2018
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For the last five presidential elections, Hawaiʻi has ranked last in the nation in voter turnout. There are some ideas on the topic before the current legislative session. Corie Tanida of Common Cause Hawaiʻi says several are worth considering. She has more in this commentary. 

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2018 is an election year not just here in Hawaii, but also for a number of congressional races around the country. Overseas, this past weekend saw an important election in Hong Kong—with significant results. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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2018 is an election year, and not just in Hawai‘i. There are mid-term congressional elections as well as races for governor in 36 states and three territories. There will also be an election in Malaysia—where just this week a familiar candidate joined a key race. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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Later this week, Tonga’s freshly elected parliament will gather to elect a prime minister and form a new government – which is expected to look a great deal like the last government after the ruling Democratic Party scored a resounding victory two weeks ago. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The reshuffle of the government of the Solomon Islands is now complete. Parliament elected a new prime minister, who immediately declared that he plans to continue the policies of his predecessor, who was ousted last week in a vote of no confidence. Neal Conan explains in today’s Pacific News Minute.