Hawaii Voter Turnout Under National Microscope

Hawaii’s abysmal voter turnout rate is getting national attention. This time from CNN.com which is making it part of an interesting new project called “Change The List.”

It seems they are taking on those lists we all love to read about that rank cities or states or organizations on whatever issue. In this case, Hawaii ranks at the bottom of the voter participation list and CNN is making a valiant effort to bump us out of last place. (Of course, that means they are consigning some other hapless state to the bottom of the list but maybe they can change the list again. And again.)

CNN’s John Sutter has been in Honolulu the past few days reporting the piece. And he’s blogging about the Hawaii experience here. We spied him on the Kalanianiaole Highway on Friday with a photographer checking out Laura Thielen’s sign-waving effort for her state Senate campaign.

Of course, CNN isn’t the only outfit trying to better Hawaii’s voter turnout rate. Kanu, Common Cause, No Vote No Grumble and a couple of dedicated University of Hawaii students have been working hard to register voters and get them to the polls, as Civil Beat’s Anita Hofschneider reported a couple weeks ago.

Civil Beat also has been reporting on voter participation this year in the hopes of lighting a fire under Hawaii’s lackadaisical voters. We even teamed up with the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly and developed a Facebook game, Our Hawaiian Spring, to get people interested in this year’s campaigns and candidates.

And now — drum roll, please — we have a new video we hope will turn some heads toward the voting booth. Civil Beat’s Alice Terry and Heidi Pliszka took their camera to the streets of Honolulu to talk to people about why voting is important. Check it out here and then make sure you register by the Oct. 8 deadline.

And don’t forget to vote on Nov. 6. CNN will be happy — and so will we. 

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