Vote today and influence the future

Please vote today. It matters.

A quick recap of what’s at stake. Locally, voters will decide if the next mayor of Kauai will be incumbent Bernard Carvalho Jr. or challenger Dustin Barca. Also at stake are the seven council posts, with incumbents Tim Bynum, Mason Chock Sr., Jay Furfaro, Gary Hooser, Ross Kagawa, Mel Rapozo and JoAnn Yukimura. The challengers are Arthur Brun, Felicia Cowden, Bill “Billy” DeCosta, Arryl Kaneshiro, KipuKai Kualii, Tiana Laranio and Darryl Perry.

State House seats are also being contested. Incumbent James Tokioka faces Republican Steve Yoder for House District Seat 15. Incumbent Derek Kawakami faces Republican Jonathan Hoomanawanui for House District Seat 14. And incumbent Dee Morikawa faces Republican Vickie Franks for House District Seat 16.

Voters will also be deciding who will be our next governor, several charter amendments and Constitutional Amendment 4 that would allow the state to spend public funds for the support or benefit of private early childhood education programs.

One charter amendment of particular interest to the public and The Garden Island newspaper relates to Article XXIV on Charter Amendments and asks, “Should the county be allowed to publish summaries of charter amendments in a newspaper of general circulation and the entire text on the official website of the County of Kauai?” Of course, as Kauai’s daily newspaper, The Garden Island is opposed to efforts to move the entire text of charter amendments to the county’s website, where fewer people would actually read them and know what they were. We believe it is in the best interests of the public that the county be as transparent as possible and simply continue to do as it has been doing, publishing the entire text in TGI’s legal notices, where they will receive the attention they deserve and the public will have increased opportunities to read these amendments in their entirety and to follow their government.

But why should you vote if none of these issues matter to you, if you believe your vote won’t make a difference? For that, we turn to comments from our past presidents:

“The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.” — Dwight D.Eisenhower

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” — John Quincy Adams

“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” — Lyndon B. Johnson

And finally:

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” — John F. Kennedy

Please believe it. The future of Kauai, of Hawaii, is at stake today. With your vote, you will influence that future.

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