HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thousands of voters across the state cast their ballots in the 2018 primary election. But how did voter turnout compare to previous election years?
Well, the numbers were better — but not by much.
With a few high-profile races on the ballot, exactly 286,041 people ensured their voices were heard by casting their votes, according to the final printout by the State Office of Elections.
But out of a total of 741,007 registered voters, that's still a measly 38.6 percent voter turnout.
The good news is that's a 3.8 percentage-point jump in voter turnout from the 2016 primary election.
In that year, there was a total of 726,940 registered voters. Exactly 252,725 of them actually voted, resulting in a 34.8 percent turnout rate, records show.
But both 2016 and 2018 numbers were down from primary elections in 2010, 2012 and 2014, where turnout rates sat at just over 40 percent.
Taking a closer look at this year's numbers, the amount of absentee ballots mailed in rose to 179,078, or 24.2 percent. Precinct turnout was over 72,000 ballots lower at 106,963, or 14.4 percent.
Of those voters, 247,825 registered as Democrats and 32,587 were registered as Republican. All remaining selected other parties.
The bad news is Hawaii is still at the bottom of the list when it comes to voter turnout nationwide.
In an attempt to change that, state officials have been doing all they can to encourage eligible Hawaii residents to vote. They've initiated same-day voter registration, ran ads outlining and encouraging the voting process, and even increased efforts for mail-in absentee voting. (The ballots come to you, how much easier can it get?)
But still, potential voters are weary to go to the polls for reasons unknown. Many on social media complain candidates aren't good enough options so they don't vote at all. Others just aren't willing to sacrifice the time out of busy schedules to practice their constitutional right.
Whatever the reasons may be for the numbers, records show Hawaii has a dismal record of voting. As the local saying goes, "No vote, no grumble."
To check your registration status, go to the Office of Elections website here. And as a reminder, the General Election is scheduled for Nov. 6.
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