Mayoral candidates make last push to voters before primary election

Mayoral candidates make last push to voters before primary election

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Election officials say they're expecting low voter turnout in Saturday's primary election.

One possible reason? Because other than Honolulu mayoral campaign, there aren't too many other hotly-contested races happening.

Statewide, 19,215 Hawaii residents cast their ballots in early walk-in voting that ended Thursday. That's about 30 percent lower than two years ago.

Meanwhile, mail-in ballots were down about 10 percent.

Political analyst Colin Moore says voting might be down because people are getting sick of national and local campaigns.

"I think a lot of people probably are having a little bit of politics fatigue right now after the Trump and Hillary campaigns," he said. "They may be sick of it, so that may translate into them staying home even for our local races."

Moore says low turnout usually is better news for incumbents because people who have voted for them before are usually likely to stick with them, while challengers need to motivate people to change or come to the polls.

The top three Honolulu mayoral candidates spent Friday making a last-minute push to build support.

"You never really can predict what's going to happen on election day, but as things stand right now, we feel really, really good," said former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou. "We feel the momentum is on our side and we're surging."

While Djou was leading in political polls, it's not clear whether he can clinch the majority needed to win the race outright.

Former Mayor Peter Carlisle has been a distant third. On Friday, he predicted Saturday would be the end of his bid for mayor.

"I'm relaxed and anticipating having this wonderful campaign come to a completion tomorrow," he said.

Incumbent Kirk Caldwell, who was trailing Djou in polls, said he's very optimistic going into the primaries.

"I do feel momentum and that's always a good thing as a candidate," Caldwell said. "The honking has increased. I think people are finally dialed in and paying attention to the election."

With the campaign trail dwindling down and turnout looking low, all three candidates are urging people to show up at the polls on Saturday.

"The way you make a difference in our democracy is by going out and voting," Djou said.

Carlisle added, "If you are not going out and exercising that, that's a slap in the face to our military. Do your job, be patriots like those people and vote."

Click here to find your polling location.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.