Is voter interest cooling? - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Is voter interest cooling?

David Franzel David Franzel
Tracie Camanga Tracie Camanga
John Hart John Hart
Julian Quarles Julian Quarles

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The candidates vie for your votes, from those running for governor to those fighting for a seat in Congress.

The names are familiar but are they raising the interest rate -- the one that will get people to the polls?

David Franzel said he'll vote in the General Election.

"I think it's important that all of us are involved in our community. I think this is the best way we can show that involvement," he said.

But Tracie Camanga feels just the opposite.

"I don't vote," she said.

More than 684,000 Hawaii residents registered for last month's primary when the Democratic race for governor and the race for Honolulu mayor were hot topics.

But with those out of the way, political observer and Hawaii Pacific University professor John Hart said voters' temperatures are cooling off.

"We have a governor's race that people perceive is going to be non-competitive. We have a congressional race that just happened and we're doing the replay. We just had a Board of Education race where nobody voted," he said.

"Politics are confusing. People are scared of things they're confused about," Waipahu resident Julian Quarles said.

He's registered to vote but he's not sure he's going to.

"I can't believe that we're not exercising our freedom to vote, especially as a woman and black woman," Sharon Yarborough said.

We spent about an hour on a busy corner in the heart of downtown Honolulu asking people if they are going to vote on November 2.

Our unscientific poll showed about 80% of people saying "yes."

But historically, voter turnout says otherwise.

In 2006 Hawaii ranked lowest in the nation.

"I've never been able to understand it," Franzel said. "I think that everybody has an obligation in our society to exercise that right."

In less than a month we'll know for sure just how many eligible voters made their way into a voting booth, and how many stayed away.

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