Hawaii's voter turnout gets national attention as the lowest in the nation.

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Oct 24 2012 10:51:47 PM HST
Updated On: Oct 25 2012 07:26:59 AM HST

Hawaii's low voter turnout draws national attention as does a man who votes in the last moments of his life.

HONOLULU -

Hawaii's voter turnout gets national attention as the lowest in the nation.

The general election is less than two weeks away, but how many people in Hawaii care enough to participate? The last time we elected a president in 2008, less than half of eligible voters in Hawaii went to the polls.

Hawaii resident Elwood Makaiwi said he is not voting, "This past four years I haven't voted because I have no confidence in our politicians."

CNN reporter John Sutter traveled from Atlanta to Hawaii earlier this month to ask why we don't vote, and to find out if people here are willing to start.

Sutter said there are many reasons locals don't vote such as age and time difference from the east coast.He said the misconception is that it is simply apathy.

"Most unique to Hawaii probably is a woman who said that she believes that the U.S. government is illegitimately occupying Hawaii. She doesn't vote because she doesn't want to legitimize the government," said Sutter.

Sutter posted his story about Hawaii voters on CNN.com, and now he's trying to get internet users around the country to convince non-voters here to get involved.

Some readers brought up Frank Tanabe the World War II veteran who cast his final ballot from his deathbed. The photo of his last civic act went viral, a gesture his family hoped would inspire others.

"If this photograph encourages more people to vote than his vote does count, and he would be truly honored," said Frank's daughter, Barbara Tanabe.

The key to increasing voter turnout may lie in the community.

Resident Hulali Kinilu said, "I think if we want people to vote we have to really start by talking to local people. Local people should just talk to local people and tell them to vote."

"I read the article about people here in Hawaii not voting and I voted for the last president election and I wanted to make sure I voted for this one," said voter Joe Klisiewecz.

People are wondering whether Frank Tanabe's vote will be counted. Election officials say it will, unless they receive Tanabe's death certificate before the General Election, and are able to find his ballot from the thousands submitted.

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