Made it to the destination for the next #changethelist project.
Passing through Birmingham. Any guesses where we are headed for the next #changethelist story?
Help us bring change to places and issues that need it most. This CNN experiment is led by John D. Sutter.
(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.
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!
Doing my part to help @cnnireport collect stickers from every state. Tag yours #ivotedCNN and join in! #cnnireport #election2012
The one that stuck in my head the most was the one about Arlington National Cemetery — all the people that gave their lives just so that we could vote. I’m not a military person or nothing like that but they were right, and it makes sense … That’s the main reason I’m going to go try (to vote on Tuesday). If I wouldn’t have read that, I probably wouldn’t.
Your thoughtful messages (find 47 of them here) convinced three of these nonvoters in Hawaii to vote on Tuesday, two of them for the first time. One of them, Michael Remen, said he decided to vote because of a single message, sent from a total stranger on the Internet. This was part of CNN’s Change the List. We’re trying to boost voter participation in Hawaii, the state with the lowest turnout. Many, many thanks to all who sent in messages.
For those who can’t make it to their voting precincts, (Gov. Chris) Christie ordered election officials to allow displaced New Jersey voters to place their ballots electronically by submitting a mail-in ballot application via e-mail or fax. Once approved, the voter will be sent an electronic ballot that can, in turn, be e-mailed or faxed back to the county clerk.
As the election nears, social networks are being used extensively to try and persuade people of the importance of voting and even beat the record 2008 turnout, when two-thirds of US voters cast a ballot in the election. A project endorsed by First Lady Michelle Obama, for instance, encourages people to take photos with their kids when they vote and post them on social networks, to teach the younger generation about the workings of democracy. On Foursquare, the location-based social network, users can connect an app to their account and find the nearest polling station. On Tuesday, they will be able to see who voted across the United States on an online map. And Facebook will reportedly post get-out-the-vote messages Tuesday to millions of voting-age Americans on the social network.
Get out and vote Hawaii! Share this image and help the Aloha State change the list. If voter turnout stayed exactly as it did in 2008 then 11,000-some new voters would push Hawaii out of last place for voter participation. There are plenty of caveats, but the takeaway is that this is totally doable.
A recent report from Educational Testing Services suggests that “With just over a week until the presidential election, there’s little hope of a high voter turnout among young people.” Low levels of civic engagement, limited knowledge of civics and government and indifference toward political affairs are to blame, according to the report. Voting rates are especially low among people with the lowest levels of education, with only 23 percent voting in the 2008 election. And only 4 percent of young, low-income high school dropouts voted in that election, says the report.