East Hawaii News

Hawaii Recognized for Government Website Achievement

October 15, 2013, 3:33 PM HST
* Updated October 16, 11:32 AM
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First it was keeping track of deaths.

Now Hawaii is being recognized for online registration of marriages and civil unions.

The Center for Digital Government has announced the state Department of Health is one of the award recipients in the Government-to-Citizen State Government category of the 2013 Digital Government Achievement Awards.

The recognition was for the DOH’s Hawaii Electronic Marriage and Civil Union Registration System, dubbed by the center as “Getting Hitched in Hawaii Made Easy.”

The system known by the acronym EMRS moves the couples taking part in the unions through the various steps required to apply and pay for a marriage license, and also provides a link to an instructional video to help out.

A temporary, electronic marriage or civil union certificate is issued and may be downloaded by the couple, and certificates can be verified by government agencies directly online.

And the “performers” of the ceremonies aren’t left out either. They can register online to become commissioned and gain access to the electronic system for certificate validation following a ceremony.

Among the other five winners in the category include California’s site for emergency response services, Indiana’s prescription tracking system and Utah’s MyCase for unemployment benefits.

“We are very encouraged by this recognition, confirming our continuous effort to provide better services and experiences to our residents and visitors wishing to marry or enter civil unions in Hawaii,” said Alvin T. Onaka,  state registrar of vital statistics.

Shown with the award for the EMRS are, from left, Randy Baldemor,Hawaii's deputy chief information officer; Alvin Onaka, state registrar for the Department of Health; and Russell Castagnaro, president of the  Hawaii Information Consortium, which assisted in creating EMRS and manages the state's portal website.

Shown with the award for the EMRS are, from left, Randy Baldemor, Hawaii’s deputy chief information officer; Alvin Onaka, state registrar for the Department of Health; and Russell Castagnaro, president of the Hawaii Information Consortium, which assisted in creating EMRS and manages the state’s portal website.

“With as many as 30,000 ceremonies taking place in our state each year, this unique system helps us to register all events quickly and efficiently by reducing the approval process by at least two weeks.”

Hawaii’s main state government website was also a finalist in the State Portal Category.

Also, Maui County placed second in this year’s County Portal Category.

The last time Hawaii was recognized by the Center for Digital Government was in 2007, when its Electronic Death Registration System was a winner in the Government-to-Government category.

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