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Help us bring change to places and issues that need it most. This journalism experiment is led by CNN columnist John D. Sutter.
Here are the topics to choose from:
After we have the winners, we’ll work together to push for change in places that need it most. Each story focuses on the extreme case — and the goal is to start a conversation that, over time, could bump these places off the bottom of the list. Thanks for your vote and support! —John
(CNN) — Hawaii tied West Virginia for 49th place in voter turnout in the November election — and I’m pretty pumped about it. That may seem like a strange thing to be excited about, or even to know about, but hear me out on this: Since September, I’ve been writing about Hawaii’s lowest-of-the-low voter turnout rate for a new CNN project called Change the List. The goal, as the project name spells out in even-Ke$ha-can-understand terms (sorry, Ke$ha, I’m sure you’re smart, but that dollar sign …), was to bump Hawaii off the bottom of that list. And I wanted to do that with your help.
After I wrote a recent article for CNN’s Change the List about why Election Day should be a federal holiday, someone created a petititon to that effet on WhiteHouse.gov. I didn’t realize the White House’s website allowed for user-created petitions, but apparently it does, and a couple of you sent me this link on Twitter. It now has more than 7,500 signatures. Several similar petitions can be found on Change.org, but I’m highlighting the White House version because it seems to have the most support, at least at the moment. Take a look, and if you agree Election Day should be combined with Veterans Day, as The Atlantic first suggested, then take a second to sign it. I think it could go a long way toward making it logistically easier for people to vote, and symbolically reminding all of us of the sacrifices veterans made for that right.
Thanks! — John, CNN’s Change the List
The defeat of the [Minnesota] voter ID constitutional amendment, along with the [state] Legislature’s flip from Republican to Democratic control, is likely put that issue on indefinite hold. But it won’t end the debate over the need for some changes in state election law.
A lot of news Tuesday night, and oddly the presidential and senatorial races plus marriage equality and marijuana decriminalization initiatives got more attention than this. (Ha!)
But it’s worth noting that Minnesota’s Voter ID ballot initiative failed approximately 54 to 46 percent. In light of the fact that voter ID requirements generally are supported by upwards of 75 percent of the population, this was a huge win for voting rights activists. It just goes to prove that when you explain the issue and fight for the vote, you can win.
It’s now the morning after Election Day. And while it’s still unclear whether Hawaii will finish last place for voting, preliminary estimates do offer a ray of hope. According to Michael McDonald, an election results guru at George Mason University, Hawaii likely will slip past West Virginia, handing over the title of the “state that doesn’t vote.” It feels too early and too odd to celebrate, though, especially given the calamity that ensued in Hawaii on Tuesday.
Woo-hoo! Thanks for sending in “I voted” images, Hawaii. Click on the image to see the interactive map and to send in an image of your own. Here’s another pic, from the news site Honolulu Civil Beat. The polls are still open in Hawaii. Get out there and vote!
The majority of the (Hawaii’s) 233 precincts opened on time this morning at 7 a.m. … The only exception was in Leeward Oahu where a precinct at Mililani High School opened 10 minutes late because of “a misunderstanding” during the initial setting up process, said Rex Quidilla, state elections office spokesman.
“Where you at, Hawaii?" After you vote, take a photo of yourself with an "I Voted" sticker (homemade or otherwise) and upload it to iReport, Instagram or Twitter. Tag it #ivotedcnn and it could end up on this CNN map. We want the Aloha State to be included in the project. And thanks for voting!