“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,
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
“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.”