Voter Turndown - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

January 3, 2011

Voter Turndown

Just 23% of eligible voters bothered to mail in their ballots in the recent City Council special election for the recently-vacated leeward side seat on Oahu. 23%- that's a mock of a sham of a farce of a travesty. Winner Tom Berg received just 18% of the vote, and 18% of 23% means that Berg won with just 4% of potential votes from eligible voters in the region.

We often hear and see of things not happening on the leeward side- beaches overrun with the homeless, roads in disrepair or flooded, power problems, car accidents tying up traffic for hours due to lack of arteries. And yet when given the opportunity to have a say in their future, only 23% of leeward community members bothered to mail in their ballots. Heck, they didn't even have to spend time going to a polling place; they simply had to choose from a short list and mail it in. And 77% chose "none of the above".

I'm not sure if the apathy shown here is due to lack of interest in the process, lack of interest in the candidates, years of feeling neglected, or lack of desire to open the mail, check a box, and lick an envelope. The leeward City Council results are really no reflection on the candidates, who signed up to run because they truly wanted to make a difference. No, there was nothing special about this "special election", except in its stunning lack of interest among affected constituents, and that's a sad state of affairs from an area in dire need of strong leadership and action. Think about it…

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