The 18-25 demographic historically turns out to vote less
frequently than other groups, making them the least politically
active group in our society, which is ironic, since their
age group is subjected to more regulation – draft, alcohol
control – than older age groups. Young adults must vote if
they are to take control of their own lives.
As citizens of this country, we’ve been given the essential
right to vote. We have the chance to decide who will lead
our communities. The candidates that voters elect will ultimately
be responsible for making life-altering decisions for us.
Until we actively participate in general political dialogue,
voting in particular, we limit our freedom of choice and allow
those who do vote to control our lives.
Many have personal reasons for not voting, citing that recent
political scandals generate skepticism throughout the community.
Other reasons include lack of voter education and an unpredictable
economy. In the 2000 general election, according to a U.S.
Census Bureau report, the state of Hawai‘i showed the lowest
turnout in the nation, a mere 44.1 percent of registered voters.
Election officials reported that 637,349 residents registered
for the 2000 Hawai‘i general election, but only 58 percent
cast a ballot.
This year’s general election, especially with the media hype
surrounding the gubernatorial race for governor, brought an
increase in voter registration and is expected to bring an
increase in ballots. Voter registration for this year’s primary
peaked at more than 700,000, but fewer than 300,000 actually
voted. About two out of five registered voters cast ballots
in the Sept.21 primary election, marking yet another low voter
turnout for a primary election in Hawai‘i. The state’s all-time
low of 39.9 percent was set two years ago in the primary.
Oct.7 was the deadline to register for the Nov.5 general
election. If you have registered, don’t waste your vote. Take
some time to familiarize yourself with the candidates and
their position on key issues. Votes matter in the sense in
that they can generate change. Taking one hour out of every
two years to vote is a small price to pay for having a say
in who controls your public life.