LIHUE — The election season is almost over, with voters heading to the polls Tuesday.
That is, unless they already voted. By the end of Thursday, 2,308 voters had cast their ballots during early voting and 44,485 people had registered to vote. Same-day registration will be available Tuesday.
Kalaheo resident Laura Andersland cast her vote Thursday at the County Elections Division office. Voting is important because everybody has a voice and they should use it, she said.
“Every vote counts. I know some personal friends who run for council and sometimes they miss it by 10 votes. Ten votes, for goodness sake!” she said. “If everybody came out and did their voice instead of just letting it happen how it happens, we could make some good changes.”
Despite the downpour in Lihue Monday, Kapaa resident Derek Green took time out of his day to vote, because voting is his civic responsibility and he wants to have a voice in the community.
Green, who voted to keep term limits in place for county councilmembers, said he cast his ballot for mayoral candidate and Councilmember Derek Kawakami.
“He’s got a fresh new look on things that coincide with my beliefs,” Green said. “He’s at all the same events I am, but wherever I’m at for places that make me feel good for being part of the community, he’s there, he’s alongside with it. He’s not just there as a spectator, he’s there getting his hands dirty.”
Kawakami attends school events and is a strong proponent for educational reform, which Green said is important to him because he’s a father.
“Get out and vote,” Green urged Kauai residents. “Learn what it is you care about and find people who are concerned for the same things.”
Kalaheo resident Caroline Vye said she voted early because she’s going to be out of town during election week.
Vye also said she cast a ballot for Mason Chock for County Council.
“He’s very involved in the Leadership Kauai program that I’m in and he’s really inspiring and done some great things for this island and the people of this island, who he really cares for,” she said.
Lihue resident Joni Funaamura Sasil also voted early. Voting is important because it allows you to be a part of the process that wasn’t granted to a lot of people for a long time, she said.
“You’ve got to be part of the process because too many times people think that the majority of the people that do vote will make the right decision, but that hasn’t been the case for a long time,” she said.
Bethany Freudenthal, crime, courts and county reporter, can be reached at 652-7891 or firstname.lastname@example.org.