CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

Hawaii Isn’t So Beautiful at the Ballot Box

How Did the Aloha State End up Last in the Nation in Voter Participation?

During Hawaii’s early days as an American state, the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye would boast about its high voter participation rate.But since that mid-20th-century high watermark, Hawaii has fallen behind the mainland in measures of civic participation and engagement. Its voters ranked dead last among the 50 states in the 2016 presidential election, and, despite its reputation as a warm, personable place, Hawaii ranks low in charitable activity, volunteering, and public service.“If We Love Hawaii So Much, Why Don’t We Vote?” was the question in a Zócalo/Daniel K. Inouye Institute “Pau Hana” event at Artistry Honolulu in Hawaii’s state capital.Moderator Gina Mangieri, an investigative reporter for KHON2 in Honolulu, asked panelists how to explain the plummeting voter participation rate.Over an hour, many suspects were blamed for Hawaii’s statistically dismal performance in civic affairs: cellphones that distract young voters …