HONOLULU (KHNL) - The Census Bureau reported last year that Hawaii had the lowest voter turnout in the nation for the 2004 presidential election. Local efforts are underway to improve that ranking.
Honolulu is a busy modern city with busy modern people who don't have a lot of time for things like voting. City officials hope increased absentee voting will help improve voter turnout.
Some voters say they have found a way to beat the crowd at their polling place.
"You don't have to worry about getting to the polls on time and that kind of stuff. You can get it all wrapped up real soon." says Wally Kohashikawa.
The City Clerk's office will send 236,000 absentee ballot mailers out to households across Oahu. Registered voters can use the forms to apply for absentee ballots which will let them cast their votes by mail.
"We're trying to encourage voter participation. And it is the first time we've ever sent so many voter application forms to the whole island." says City Clerk Denise De Costa.
In 2004, 70,000 people on Oahu requested absentee ballots. Of those, 87% cast their votes by mail.
"There's a growing number of people who are busy who are looking for convenience, who are looking for ways to save time." says De Costa.