Made it to the destination for the next #changethelist project.
Passing through Birmingham. Any guesses where we are headed for the next #changethelist story?
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(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
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!
More evidence Hawaii doesn’t have to finish last in voting:
These numbers are from Rex Quidilla in the state’s election office. They include early walk-in voting and absentee ballots that had been received as of Monday morning in Hawaii. ”We just hope people come out to vote tomorrow,” he said. CNN’s Change the List certainly hopes for the same. If all went as it did in 2008, Hawaii would need 11,466 more votes to hop off the bottom of the national list for voter turnout. You can do it, Hawaii.
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.