Top Stories
Front Page
Student Life
Science & Environment
Arts & Entertainment

People & Places


HPU Clubs


Cross Country

Hot Links
Kalamalama Home

Election 2002: the importance of voting

by Dava Della, associate editor Scinence & Environment


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.




©2002, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
This site designed Rick Bernico & maintained by Johan Astrom