Analyst: Registrations are up, but don't expect higher turnout on Election Day

Analyst: Registrations are up, but don't expect higher turnout on Election Day

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's less than three weeks to Election Day, and many voters have tuned out.

"People primarily vote because they're excited, because they're feeling hopeful," said Colin Moore, director of the University of Hawaii's Public Policy Center. "When folks are scared, when folks are frustrated, they stay home,"

They also stay home if they don't like the candidates running, and there's lots of evidence they don't this time around.

A recent national poll found Republican Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton are the two most unpopular presidential candidates in more than 30 years. According to the Washington Post, Clinton has a 56 percent unfavorability rating, while Trump stands at 63 percent.

So what will this mean for Hawaii voter turnout? Moore isn't optimistic turnout will be high, even though the number of registered voters in Hawaii has jumped to 740,000, from about 705,000 four years ago.

"Traditionally, there is a relationship between people registering and more people voting. But here in Hawaii we haven't seen that relationship as clearly. I think we can expect very low voter turnout," Moore said.

Still, there are lots of people who are looking forward to casting their ballots Nov. 8.

"I think this election more than ever it's really important that we all vote," said resident Ryan Gomes.

Voter Graye Maddox said, "I care a lot about this election. I'm part of the LGBT community so any of that can affect me a lot."

Meanwhile, state elections officials say they're expecting lines for the general election, especially on Oahu, where the ballot will include 20 charter amendment proposals and could slow down the voting process.

"It's best to familiarize yourself with the questions. You can even mark your sample ballot and take it in and use it as a cheat sheet," said Scott Nago, chief elections officer.

Moore says even if you're not excited about your picks for president, it's still crucial to get out to the polls because local races can impact your daily life.

If you aren't registered to vote, absentee walk-in sites open Oct. 25.  There you'll be able to register and vote all at the same time.

For more information on voting, click here.

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