Friday, November 7, 2014

Hawaii Sets a Record … Again

First, some statistics:
  • Hawaii’s population: 1,404,054 (July 1, 2013, US Census Bureau)
  • Eligible voters (age 18+): 79.1% (1,110,606)
  • Registered voters: 706,890
  • Percent of residents 18+ registered to vote: 63%
  • Voter turnout on Nov. 4, 2014: 369,554 (52.3%), the lowest voter turnout percentage ever, since statehood in 1959.

Now, what it means:
  • About a third (32.9%) of the eligible voters (age 18+) in Hawaii voted.
  • A mere one-fourth (26.3%) of Hawaii’s population made decisions that affect the entire state.

This is disgusting, and it’s getting worse.

What did that mean for the governor’s race? The final results:
  • Democrat David Ige (our first governor with a very noticeable Hawaii accent): 181,065 votes (49.45%)
  • Republican Duke Aiona: 135,742 votes (37.08%)
  • Independent Mufi Hannemann: 42,925 votes (11.72%)
  • Libertarian Jeff David: 6,393 votes (1.75%)

Now, what THIS means is that David Ige was elected by a mere 16.3% of Hawaii’s 1,110,606 eligible voters. It’s like picking six adults in Hawaii at random, and appointing one to vote; the candidate s/he chooses wins the governorship. Are the other five of you going to be happy with that? I think not.

The solution? I don’t know … better candidates? (We certainly could benefit from that.) More competition? (We really need a strong two-party system in Hawaii.) Fewer nasty negative ads? (Good luck with that one.) Online voting? (But why make it so easy?) Distribution of a “give a damn” vaccine? (Hey, don’t laugh, it might work.) I don’t know.

But it’s enough to make one give up and not vote anymore. Now THAT’S something to think about before the next election in two years. It will be 50 years since I first voted in 1966. Perhaps it’s a good time to quit.

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