Think About It: Canadian Connection - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 6, 2017

Think About It: Canadian Connection

Last month while vacationing in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Inoticed a front page story in the HalifaxMetro lamenting the horrible voter turnout in the local elections. Thearticle said, and I quote, "We have hit an embarrassing 53.55%, among thelowest rates in developed countries". The article went on to suggest low votingnumbers might be attributed to an unexcited electorate unmoved by lacklusterleaders. 

The Canadian article also mentioned horrible timing of theelection (during school exams), but the major premise blamed not the electoratebut the uninspiring candidates and campaigns. We have commented here often overthe years about the creeping malaise among Hawaii's growing non-voterpopulation. Eight months ago, Hawaii ranked dead last in voter participation ofall 50 states, with just 43% of eligible voters turning out to cast theirvotes. By contrast, Nova Scotia's 54% turnout seems like it would be a home runhere. In reality, our turnout among actual registered voters was only 58%, downfrom 61% in the 2012 presidential election and down from 66% in 2008. The 58%who did vote means that 42% of the people who actually bothered to register inthe first place didn't even show up on election day or mail in a ballot.

So what to do? Late registration was available in 2016 up to10-days before elections, and same day election registration will be in placenext year- these items will help mitigate some of the Ainokea and lethargy of awary and weary 18+ population. But inspiring races and issues might get peoplemore into the democratic process, too, and that goes for Halifax, Honolulu, andeverywhere in between these days. Remember, freedom is not free, and you do getto make a difference and be heard at least every two years. Think about it… 

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