No Shows - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

July 27, 2009

No Shows

John Fink John Fink

We're #1. Yes, but unfortunately it is another one of those categories that you don't really want to be at the head of the class- Hawai'i had the worst turnout of registered voters of any state in the country in that big old 2008 election, as just under 52% bothered to vote. And keep in mind, this is 52% of registered voters, so it doesn‘t include all of those 18+ who were eligible but never even got themselves registered.

So the big question that needs to be asked every time is "why"? If we can't even move up the voting percentage ranks when a son of Hawai'i is running for the nation's top slot, then when will this disturbing trend ever turn around? And the numbers of young voters choosing to express themselves at the poll was even more pitiful- a mere 25% of those 18-24 who registered bothered to vote. Is it complacency, boredom, indifference? Is it a sense that the system works fine or not fine without me, or that my vote simply doesn't matter?

Whatever the reasons or excuses are, it's not a good sign in a democracy. Back in 1959, when statehood became a reality, voter turnout was above 90%. If we really don't care who runs things, then one answer might be to eliminate one of our legislative bodies, go unicameral, and save money, while making the single senate a full-time gig for people fully ensconced in the inner workings of our state. Think about it...

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