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Election inspires

by Yonie K. Espiritu, associate editor


“I don’t really side with anyone, but this year I thought the democrats had a better candidate,” said Ashley Foster, HPU visual communications major. “Living in a Democratic state, I just assumed Mazie Hirono would win. I regret not using my vote.”

On Nov. 5, Foster spent the historic election night being a gofer, someone who delivered ballot counts, for The Honolulu Advertiser. Curious about the balloting process, Foster took the position and had an eye-opening experience.


As a gofer, Foster’s duties were to wait for the counts to come in from the different precincts and then call up the Associated Press office to get them on the wire.

Remembering the events of that night, Foster acknowledges how important elections are. “I called for a pizza, and when I told the lady I was at the State Capitol, she forgot herself, she wanted to know who was ahead and who I thought was going to win.” Although Forster recalls the experience with laughter, the incident alerted her to the consequences of voting, or worse, not voting.

Foster, originally from New Mexico, thought that the only people who vote were either old or rich or had some major tie to government. Like most kids her age, she didn’t really know too much about politics, but was certain that she didn’t like politicians. Foster’s dislike for politicians stems from their mug-slinging. Today, Foster still does not like them, but she understands that its her responsibility to put the best candidate in office.

“When I got the first count, Lingle 50 percent and Hirono 49 percent I assumed, since Hirono won the outer island’s vote, she was a shoo-in,” said the HPU senior, who will graduate this semester. “Then the second, and most pivotal count came in, and she didn’t win Honolulu, where I had thought most of her votes would come from.”

Foster explained that the second count was the most important because the majority of Hawai‘i’s ballots are counted in the second interval. After that count, Foster had a sinking sensation that Hawai‘i would no longer be a Democratic state. She was right, but during this process of ballot counting she also noticed something else.

“It was weird. They had the counts, but they kept stalling,” said Foster. “I learned right then and there how the media can really play up things, especially when they know people are watching.” Foster was surprised that the media would delay reporting the ballot results, something that the public has the right to know. That opened her eyes to the media’s role in elections and voting, ultimately making her recognize that the mug-slinging is just another way of how the media hypes up conflict, almost like a Tyson fight.

Foster is now a registered voter and feels it’s her duty to try to help the best man, or in this election, best woman get the job. “And, if they don’t do the right job,” said Foster. “Its my responsibility to get them out of there.”



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