Neighborhood Bored - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

June 1, 2009

Neighborhood Bored

What if they held an election and no one showed up?  What if they held an election and no one ran?  Well, it's not quite that bad, but the recent turnout, for the neighborhood board elections indicated that something's wrong in the big city.  Only 6% of eligible voters bothered to transmit their votes electronically or by phone, which were the only ways to vote this time around.

One of the reasons for the low turnout by voters was the incredibly low turnout of candidates.  Over 60% of the areas had uncontested races, which means if mommy voted for you, you're in!  This is no way meant to condemn the intent of these community boards, nor is it meant to impugn the fine people who take the time to volunteer and run for these offices.  I don't think people realize just exactly what it is that neighborhood board members do, or why this grassroots effort has a value to communities and neighborhoods.

Sure, hackers might get involved, just like voter fraud is always a possibility at polling places.  As they used to say in Chicago and New Orleans, "vote early and vote often".  To really get people to vote, the system might not matter so much as the message being sent- get the people interested, involved and to the point where they see the value of their vote, and they are more likely to show up- on-line, on the phone, or at polls.  Think about it...

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