‘No vote, no grumble’

LIHUE — John Finley wanted to cast his vote early.

“I’m tired of waiting for the election,” he said. “I’ve been waiting too long.”

Finley voted on Tuesday at the Lihue Neighborhood Center. Tired of the back-and-forth between candidates through this year’s presidential campaign, Finley saw voting early as an opportunity to put this election behind him.

“It’s never too busy here on Kauai to vote, but for me, like I said, I was tired of waiting,” Finley said. “I voted for Hillary Clinton because Donald Trump is unqualified and I wouldn’t trust him with my grocery shopping.”

There were plenty of voters filling out paperwork and waiting in line to vote on Tuesday afternoon, giving County Elections Administrator Lyndon Yoshioka reason to be optimistic about voter turnout this year.

“Everyone has their own reasons to come out and vote early,” Yoshioka said. “I won’t even speculate how many people are going to vote today, but I will tell you that today has been quite busy, so we’re cautiously optimistic that it will be a good turnout for the general election.”

Five voters on Tuesday said they left the presidential race blank on their ballots, citing an inability to choose one candidate. Many voters chose not to say who they voted for or give their name.

Resident Martina Hilldorfer said what matters in the end is that everyone votes.

“There’s a couple reasons (why I came out to vote early),” Hilldorfer said. “I want to make sure I don’t spend too long in line and there’s been some problems with voting in Hawaii so I wanted to make sure that there were ballots available and that the polling places were clean and ready to go … I’m going to keep who I voted to myself, but it’s very important to vote; it’s your civic duty. No vote, no grumble.”

It’s important to note that there are more than two candidates running in the presidential race and Jeff Kibler felt the need to give the third-party candidates some credit for their involvements in the race.

“I want to see the right people elected,” Kibler said. “I voted for Jill Stein because I don’t like any other candidates. Donald Trump won’t get elected and Hawaii is going to vote for Hillary Clinton anyway, so might as well give a third-party candidate some credit.”

Early voting will run through Saturday, Nov. 5. Polls will be open from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Lihue Neighborhood Center.

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