Think About It: Paper Fail - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

November 15, 2012

Think About It: Paper Fail

Voter turnout was once again pretty weak in Hawaii, and even for those who did bother to show up, there was no guarantee that an actual paper ballot would be available. Yes, just when it seemed like the Big Island got things handled, O'ahu had myriad issues at over 20 polling places. Who cares why there weren't enough ballots on hand,  something is really wrong when enough boxes of paper ballots are not available. How hard would it have been to have an extra box or two available at each site, just in case things got busy?

One year it's the electronic results coming out very late, the next time around it's precincts not opening on time, and now we have frustrated people waiting (if they chose to wait) while someone finally brought in more ballots. And, of course, a lot of this happened around rush hour, as many people chose to vote after work, so the wait was made even longer as box-carrying cars inched through traffic. As usual, post-problem, election officials are trying to figure out what went wrong. Angry potential voters went home, people in cars who saw the lines simply left.

We'll never know how many people didn't vote because of this mess, but since our voting numbers were down from the 2008 presidential election, it is a safe bet that some disgruntled people will now be further disinterested from coming back the next time, which could cause even further erosion in our voting numbers here. Bad enough when people shirk their civic duty, and volunteers try their best, but year after year, something in the system- run by real people, many of whom get paid-  just isn't right, and that surely isn't right for Hawaii over and over again on election days. Think about it…

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