LIHUE — In little over a month, Kauai voters will head to the polls to vote on a new mayor, a new County Council, several charter amendments and two state constitutional amendments.
Since the Aug. 11 primary election, 465 people have registered to vote on Kauai. For those who want to vote in the Nov. 6 general election but aren’t registered yet, there’s still time.
The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, with early walk-in voting from Oct. 23 to Nov. 3. The last day to request an absentee mail-in ballot is Oct. 30.
Drive-through voter registration will be held behind the Election’s Division office today and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In the primary election, 43.3 percent, or 18,837 of Kauai’s registered voters, cast ballots.
Wailua resident Donna Nunes said she’s voting in the upcoming election because she doesn’t like how things have been going for the Hawaiian people on Kauai.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of honesty everywhere, so I think it’s very important that we step up and vote and try to see some changes and make things better,” she said.
Voting is important because it can change things, she said.
“In the past I haven’t seen much change. I’ve seen a lot of, I hate to say this, dishonesty in every level and so I strongly believe that if people vote, maybe, hopefully, things will change and we’ll see more honesty,” Nunes said.
It’s also important to vote because if you don’t, you don’t have the right to complain later about how things are going, she said.
Richard McKeever of Princeville said he’d vote multiple times in the next election if he could.
“I’m registered and I will vote,” he said.
When people don’t vote, they get lackadaisical about the government, McKeever said.
“It’s important that everyone votes and encourage other people to vote also. I’ve been voting as soon as I was eligible at 21 and I used to work on the Board of Elections when it was actually illegal to do it, at 16 years old, I was working on the Board of Elections in New York,” he said. “I got dragged into politics very early by my parents.”
Everyone should register to vote and be aware of who is running for office, McKeever said.
“And vote your conscience, basically. If you don’t vote, idiots take over the government. I encourage other people to register to vote also and if you can, take people to the voting place if you can arrange that also, because some people just can’t make it and are too lazy to make it also,” he said.
But not everyone is gung ho about voting.
Kelvin Ponton of Kapahi said he won’t be voting in the election because he just doesn’t vote.
“I voted one time. I voted to try to keep George W. Bush out of office and it didn’t work so maybe I’m jaded. I didn’t necessarily vote for his opponent, I just voted against him, if that means anything,” he said.
Ponton said he doesn’t have time to understand what he would be voting for.
“I don’t have a clue who represents what and I don’t understand any of the issues. I feel that my vote would count, I just don’t know how it would count, so I feel under-educated in that and I don’t have the time to educate myself,” he said.
Ponton said he’s simply not political.
“I can’t say that I’m a Democrat or Republican because I don’t vote for either one. I’m a not voter,” he said.
Lihue resident Dawn Elsa Diancie wants to vote in the general election, but is having some problems registering.
“If you don’t vote, basically you’re going to end up with decisions that are made for you that go against, in my case, transgender people,” she said.
The problem she’s facing is some of the paperwork she needs is in a different state and she’s waiting for it to be transferred to Kauai. But she’s not too worried about not being able to vote in the upcoming election, because she has to move back to California anyway.
But she encourages everyone to get out and vote.
Lihue resident Brenda Birdine said she’s registered to vote and will be voting in November’s election, because it’s important to have the right people in office to take care of the issues.
“I’m more of an advocate for getting justice for all,” she said.
It’s important to register to vote, because if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain, Birdine said.
“Think of it as a step in making your life more easier as far as the services, the activities for your kids, making your life more easier. That goes by having the right person in office who understands your needs,” she said.