Your Views for November 13


Value of your vote

Did you go out to vote? Did you vote for the right person? Did you stand in line waiting to vote? Do you think your vote counts?

If you said yes, then think again. Keep in mind in 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote. That means that he received the most votes. But who won the election? George Bush. Why? Electoral votes.

So at 6:20 p.m., while many of our citizens were still standing in line waiting to vote, President Obama won the election, not by the popular vote, but the electoral vote. Remember how the Democrats yelled foul. I wonder if they are doing that now.

What happens is the winner is picked not by your vote, but by the electoral vote. Each state is allotted so many votes depending on population size. So, that being the case, why spend hundreds of millions of dollars on elections? That money would be better spent on feeding the hungry.

In 1959, Hawaii became a state. That gave us the privilege of voting for president. But because of our location, winners are awarded even while we are still voting, which again shows our votes do not count.

For weeks we have heard that it is Ohio that determines who gets to be president. If that is so, then as I have said, why do we vote? Why not just let Ohio choose? After all, they were the determining factor in this election.

The system has to be changed, but Congress won’t do it. Something to think about!

John Gallipeau

Honomu

Turnout woes

John Sutter of CNN has recently been following Hawaii voter turnout in the hope that coverage of the issue would help the state move out of last place.

As a young voter excited for my first election, it is depressing to know that turnout receded even further in 2012. However, the people of Hawaii are not necessarily at fault: What motivates a voter to go to the polls when Barack Obama has already been projected the presidential winner?

I applaud the people of Hawaii who did vote in this election and the many who even went to the streets to wave signs. Making your voice heard through the democratic system matters. The presidency is “won” by the Electoral College vote, but it is made decisive by the popular vote.

Perhaps Sutter should spend a little less focus on the state of Hawaii as the problem and more on the issues that cause Hawaii to fall to last place on the list. Lack of excitement as a result of any disassociation with the mainland will not be bridged by singling out Hawaii. Besides targeting the states without lasting incentives at the local level, Electoral College reform, though unlikely to occur soon, is also a solution that could help residents of Hawaii feel more like their vote matters.

Hawaii does not always have to find itself toward the bottom of the voter turnout list, but change cannot happen without first understanding the true issues and causes.

Joyce Iwashita

Hilo

 

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