Think About It: Voter Malaise… again - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

March 27, 2017

Think About It: Voter Malaise… again

It's official. When it comes to voting, Hawaii is dead last among all state in voter turnout, once again. Only 43% of eligible voters bothered to show up last November, which puts Hawaii well ahead of #49 West Virginia where about 51% showed up and cast a vote. This ignominious winning streak goes back five presidential elections now, so we are getting really good at being really bad at voting.

Perhaps when voter registration rules here lighten up and get simpler, perhaps when voting by mail takes full hold, maybe then the general ennui and apathy we show here will dissipate. Perhaps… Nationwide, 60% of eligible voters bothered to get involved in the November contests, so we'd have to see an almost 50% increase in the number of voters who vote here to move ahead of the national average. The top six states in voters, by the way, offer same-day voter registration and other accommodating features. Five of the top six states were also considered "battleground states" by presidential campaigns and pundits.

But the bottom line, whether it's local races or national races, the disinterest in Hawaii continues to hit new heights, or depths, when it comes to voting in presidential election years (and non-presidential years too, of course). 25-years ago, over 82% who registered actually voted locally. That number has dropped by almost 50%. Lack of competitive races here, a general lack of interest, lack of ease in registering- whatever. Being the worst at voting in a democracy is nothing to be proud of. Again. Think about it…

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