Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Tell these nonvoters why you vote



Nani Teruya knocks on doors for candidates -- but she won't vote.


Skyler Gayhart, soon-to-be 18, doesn't feel mature enough to cast a ballot.


And Michael Remen found such a mess at his polling place on primary Election Day that he doesn't plan to vote n November. It just isn't worth the hassle, he says. This, despite the fact that he loves politics and has a firm opinion on just about every candidate and issue on the ticket.


These are three nonvoters I met on a trip to Hawaii last month as part of a new CNN project I'm heading up called Change the List. I went to Hawaii not for the scenery or surf, but because the state has the lowest voter turnout rate in the country. My goal is to help create a conversation that could change that -- not by shaming Hawaii, but by rooting for it as an underdog.


It's a cliche but it's true: Change can start with a person. That's why I'm asking iReporters to help convince one nonvoter in Hawaii to vote in the upcoming election. The three people I described at the top of this post -- Nani, Skyler and Michael -- as well as a few others, have agreed to let the People of the Internet (that's you!) send them messages trying to convince them to vote.


If you're interested, here's what you need to do. Three easy steps:


Step 1: Pick a person. Here are your choices.


#CTL1: Paul Hewlett: The it's-all-good guy.


I met Paul on a beach in Oahu just as he was finishing a night of canoeing. Things are generally pretty good in Hawaii, he said, so he's never felt the need to vote. "I've never voted in my life," he said. "I don't think my one vote is going to make any difference."


#CTL2: Michael Remen: The disenfranchised voter.


Michael loves voting. Along with football, it's his favorite "water cooler" topic. He knows the candidates and the issues. He always voted. Until this year. He had such trouble at his polling place earlier this year -- he spent an hour and a half trying to vote and left frustrated -- that he lost trust in the system. He told me he doesn't plan to cast a ballot in November.


#CTL3: Nani Teruya: The Hawaii separatist.


If you like a challenge, pick Nani. She basically told me she dares someone -- anyone -- to try to convince her to vote. Nani doesn't vote because she doesn't consider Hawaii to be part of the United States. Still, I talked to members of the Hawaiian family who said people like Nani should use their unique voices to sway politicians. Plus, Nani is already engaged in politics. She helped a friend of hers campaign for office, standing on street corners holding signs.


#CTL4: Skyler Gayhart: The high school student.


Soon-to-be 18, Skyler told me he feels to young to vote. Elections and politics are thigns that affect older people -- property owners -- not him, he said. Still, there are issues he holds dear, particularly overcrowding on Oahu. "If you go to Sandy Beach and catch a wave," he said during a discussion about voting in his high school class, "there’s 10 other people on that same wave!"


#CTL5: Nanci Munroe: The one who says it doesn't matter.


Nanci Munroe has several reasons not to vote. Most unique: Hawaii is six hours behind the East Coast. National results are announced before she goes to the polls.


#CTL6: Tyler Tawara: The university student.


"I don't vote because I don't believe what the politicians are saying," said Tyler Tawara, an 18-year-old University of Hawaii student. "I'm indifferent. They're just lying."


Step 2: Send that person a message


You can do that by sending a video on CNN iReport. Or by sending a message on Twitter. Please be sure to include the hashtag for the person you've chosen. If you're talking to Tyler, for example, tag your iReport or Tweet #CTL6. For Skyler, it's #CTL4. Get it? Kinda like "American Idol."


Here's a video I sent to #CTL2.


I would encourage you to make it personal. Why do you vote. A thoughtful explanation may be the best form of persuasion. Or what about that person speaks to you? Do you relate to them?


Step 3: See if your message makes the cut


I created a CNN page for each nonvoter. Check back on these pages to see if your message makes the cut. If it does, it means the nonvoter you chose will see your message. Here they are:


#CTL1 | #CTL2 | #CTL3 | #CTL4 | #CTL5 | #CTL6


Step 4: Find out if you made a difference


Follow the CNN Change the List Tumblr for updates on the project. I'll report back on which -- if any -- of the six nonvoters decides to cast a ballot in November. Thanks so much for your help.

October 24, 2012
Click to view velkyn's profile

Vote because it is your responsiblity. Yes, it may seem to be a choice between lesser evils.  However, you have the responsiblity to choose the lesser one to you.  To not vote means you don't care and do not deserve the freedoms that have been won for you. I think it's that simple.

October 24, 2012
Click to view JMorcan's profile

To not vote means you don't care ..."


Nonsense. I refuse to vote because I do care. Validating the corruption these candidates represent by voting not only sends the wrong message, it's bad for America.  Representative democracy has run its course, and the country is the worse for it. Direct vote or no vote. We don't need this excess baggage.


October 24, 2012
Click to view pamoh2009's profile

I vote because it is my civic responsibility as a citizen of my country. I have the privileges of living here, so I get the responsibilities as well. You may pretend to yourself that not voting sends some kind of message, but it is only interpreted as apathy. If you really want to send a message, write in or vote for a 3rd party - if a 3rd parties become viable, the process will be shaken up.

October 24, 2012
Click to view doug57's profile

  You should vote because it's in your own interest to vote.  But if that isn't a good enough reason, you should vote for the simple reason that men and women, millions of them, have died and been maimed to preserve the right to cast a vote.  To refuse is a slap in the face of their memory and service, and for that you should be profoundly ashamed and unforgiven.

October 24, 2012
Click to view adenao's profile

The failure of Obama’s reelection campaign




The advantage of a second term president cannot be overstated, and I’m not talking about the luxury of flying around in Air force one aircraft or living in the luxurious White House on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. I'm saying this after pondering for weeks about the best argument Obama could make for his second term as a President of United States. It is in our history that every president always accomplished more and gets a lot done in their second term. This is not by accident; it’s the nature of our politics here in America and one of the few demerits of democracy. Here is my point, President usually gets more done during their second term not because they all of a sudden became a genius, but it’s simply because the opposition party are usually more focus on getting things done and not worry about stopping President from getting re-elected.


Let’s just say if Barack Obama is re-elected in November, who think Republican in congress will focus their energy in stopping him, absolutely not, because that won’t be an issue anymore, but I can guarantee you it will be an issue (same as it was for Obama) for the next four years, if Mitt Romney is elected as United States President, because the Democrat in the Senate will reciprocate what Republican did to Obama and make sure they stop Romney from getting re-elected.


Lastly, if President Obama have made this argument of why there is a much better opportunity for bipartisan during his next term in office, that would have resonate with more American and probably willing to give him the benefit of doubt that he might be able to get more stuff done with Republican since there is no third term agenda here in United States for Presidential election. He failed to make that argument throughout the three debates on the national television, but it is better to be late than never and he still have less than two weeks to take advantage of this strong message.


October 24, 2012
Click to view Galadriena's profile

@JMorcan If you don't want to vote for one of the "corrupt" candidates, then why not vote for a third party candidate.  I'm sure there is someone you agree with in that pool, and a lot of them want to change how the system works.  I don't like Obama or Romney, so I'm voting third party.  The two party system is corrupt, and one of the best ways to show you don't agree with it is to vote for one of the other parties.  Sure, they may not get elected this year or next year, but if enough people vote for third party candidates, the system can change.  It's just going to take a lot of work...


I watched the third party debates last night, and really liked what Libertarian Gary Johnson said, "Wasting your vote is voting for somebody that you don't believe in... That's wasting your vote. I'm asking everybody here, I'm asking everybody watching this nationwide, to waste your vote on me."  Or any other third party candidate, because even though they won't get elected, at least it shows that not everyone wants to vote for those in the two party system.

October 24, 2012
Click to view RyanStern's profile

You may feel that as the last state whose votes are tallied, that the election is over before you vote. But, the election is not over until the last vote is recorded. And, we still have the antiquated Electoral College. It made since in the 18th century, he does not in the 21st. I would like to present you with two facts that may send you running to the polls to vote. Ronald Reagan was elected by less than 25% of the eligible electorate. This means that 50% or less of eligible voters took the time to vote. Had those 50% voted, Reagan and George H Bush may never have served 12 years in office. It would possibly be a second term for Carter and two terms for Mondale. In 2000, George W Bush lost the popular vote but won the electoral college. Most voters cast their vote for Gore. But, with hanging chads and an obstructed recount of the key state of Florida, George W Bush got the majority of Electoral College votes and became president. So, when you are thinking that the election is over when the east coast outcome is predicted, go as fast as you can to your polling place and cast your vote for your choice of president. Give him the full number of votes he deserves and the full number of Electoral College votes. The east coast could wake up the next day to find that the west coast, Alaska and Hawaii had overturned the predictions of the pollsters. I believe in my life time there was a time that no results were released until the last polls closed, or perhaps it is because every election I hear a commentator say that no predictions should be made before the last vote is cast. Despite which candidate you support, they deserve and need your vote. Do not let the country east of the Mississippi determine this election!

October 24, 2012
Click to view SCY385's profile

I really can't blame anybody for not voting these days.  I mean look at some of the people running for offices throughout the country.  Whether you are Democrat or Republican the pickings are getting very slim.  You have nuts on one side who are so libral that they want to rename fish in the water sea kittens.  Then you have nuts on the other side who think that a woman's body can 'shut down' a potential pregnancy in the event of a 'legitimate rape'.  Can't make any of this up.  So I get the reasons a lot of people would rather stay home and watch paint dry.  But I also think that things cannot change unless normal, common sensible people get involved.  Politics and the representitives involved have the ability to affect almost every aspect of a normal person's life.  Think about how much money a person brings home from their paycheck.  If taxes are too high that's money NOT coming into your home paying YOUR bills, and meeting YOUR needs.  If a young woman is brutally raped and becomes pregnant the laws passed by these politicians can affect the choices that she has to make.  If funding is not handled properly schools suffer and the politicians we elect control a lot of that.  I could go on, but I think you get the idea.  This is not a game.  This is how you are going to live your life.  Think about everything from that perspective and you understand why voting is not only a right but a necessity.  You ever wonder why some things are the way they are take a look at who you have in office representing you and your interests.  There are no guarantees with anything in this World.  I know who I would like to see in office another four years, but it may not happen.  But I can't say one damned word of protest if I don't vote to try to influence the country I live in.   

October 24, 2012
Click to view gottalight's profile

I only vote because my state votes by mail.  No way I would stand in line for hours behind idiots who can't mark a ballot in under 60 seconds. Vote by mail is riddled with fraud, I know.  Nothing I can do about it.  And since they're all lying anyway, I vote - just usually for someone other than who is on the ballot.  Who says I'm required to only vote for the two or three choices I am force-fed?  My short answer to Skyler - go catch a wave instead and try to enjoy life, bud.  Ron Paul 2012

October 24, 2012
Click to view jeddy1950's profile

I vote because I was drafted into the Army in March of 1969. In September of 1969 I was sent to Vietnam as an infantryman where I was wounded and hospitalized during my tour of duty.


I served in Vietnam for 13 months and upon my return, I was honorably discharged. I then had to wait for 10 months before I was old enough to vote in this country. 58,000+ of our youth (blood and treasure) gave a full measure on behalf of what was a not very grateful nation. I feel that in part I owe it them to vote.


I have not missed voting in an election since 1972 when I was first able to vote (see the 26th amendment passed in March of 1971).


For you on a personal basis: From 1941-1945, ordinary men and women lived, cared for each other, suffered and died in what became your state. I think voting is one way to honor them quietly and with great respect.



Jerry Lawler


October 25, 2012


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October 25, 2012
Click to view MDMick's profile

I think the majority of Americans feel 18 is too young to vote. In Maryland, they did an experiment in the 1970's that lowered the drinking age to 18. Soon the nicest bars and restaurants were full of loud-mouthed, popcord throwing teens who caused a number of fine establishments to shut down. That law was repealed. How we then ended up with 18 year old voters is beyond me except the incumbents could say, "I gave you the vote" to the teens.

October 25, 2012
Click to view MDMick's profile

I vote because, on some occasions, we do get the corrupt politicians out. I agree that our nation is much less a democracy than most, Congress is special-interest controlled, and we've become a Banana Republic. But there's a slim glimmer of hope and that lies in the vote.

October 25, 2012
Click to view Dandy985's profile

I never felt strongly about voting until about 10 yrs ago.  I had always heard that the media is usually responsible for the outcome of an election and it made me angry and frustrated.  I don't want someone else making a decision for me.  I am an independent voter who has voted both ways on several occasions.  I want my vote to be counted.  Maybe things won't end up the way I would like, but at least my choice was counted.  I would rather live in a country where I am permitted and encouraged to vote rather that not!!  We are very lucky to live where we live even though we may not always feel that way.  Take responsibility for your citizenship and VOTE!!!  Grow up, be an educated adult, Vote! or else, don't complain!!

October 25, 2012
Click to view kimberian2's profile

ourthouse employees are another step closer to moving to a new location now that approval has been given to a lease agreement for space at the Osage Town and Country Plaza.


Additionally, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the county supervisors and Fox River Mills of Osage to develop a lease agreement for rental space to be used by the Clerk of Court.


Approximately three weeks ago the supervisors agreed to move courthouse offices to another location following concerns being raised by a structural engineer about the courthouse roof trusses.


Just a few days prior, the District 2 Clerk of Courts shut down the Mitchell County courtroom on the second floor for safety reasons and the county insurance carrier said all courthouse employees would have to move.


During Tuesday's meeting, county attorney Mark Walk said he had a couple of concerns with the proposed lease agreement.


The areas of his concern including the terms of the use - whether it was renewable after the 21 months was up and a statement allowing the landlord to move the offices to another location.


"I believe a couple of things were just over-looked," said Walk. "I also do not see them (the owners) asking to move you to a new location or not being willing to renew the lease after the 21 months."


The county will be paying $4,760 per month as well as an additional $436 "operational expenses" charge, which includes snow removal and taxes on the property. The county will also pay its own utilities.


Supervisor Joel Voaklander said that department heads had visited the Plaza on Monday to express any additional concerns they had on needed improvements or repairs prior to moving.


"Everyone had a say in it," he said. "Everything is okay."


The decision to sign the lease, pending owners' approval to remove those two areas of concern from the lease, was approved unanimously by the board of supervisors.


Although approved on Tuesday, the supervisors do not expect to move before the Nov. 6 election. That is also the day voters will decide whether the could should spend $6.5 million on building a new courthouse, officials anticipate being out of the courthouse for two to three years.


During Tuesday's meeting, the supervisors also approved a "Memorandum of Understanding" with Fox River Mills, Osage for office space for the District Court.


State Law requires that counties provide office space for the Clerk of Courts offices at no charge to the court system.


By approving the memorandum, Fox River Mills and Mitchell County can move forward with creating a formal lease agreement, proposed to commence on Oct. 1, created no later than Oct. 31.


Terms of the lease would include rent - $22,200 per year (2,220 square feet at $10 a square foot), $633.48 per year in real estate tax, $857.80 per year for building insurance. The total cost would be approximately $23,691.28 per year.


Other terms of the agreement would include Mitchell County paying for its own utilities, telephone and Internet, and ICN access, cleaning and pest control.


Items to be discussed include Mitchell County making handicap accessibility modifications, adding a wall inside the front door; Fox River Mills will cover the cost of installing an OMU meter and removing a counter, if needed.


Areas uncertain include the number of parking spaces needed including handicapped, who changes the locks and who pays for snow removal.


Total rental expenses for both the Town and Country Plaza and Fox River Mills would total approximately $85,000 per year for the county.


The board anticipates taking final action on the lease agreement at its Oct. 9 meeting.


In other courthouse discussion, Homeland Security Specialist Rick Bush presented a power point outlining his findings from a recent security assessment he conducted on the courthouse.


Bush pointed out several safety concerns for both the structure and the employees.


"I have some life safety concerns with this courthouse," said Bush. "If it is decided to build new, I would suggest you visit other courthouses to see what those counties did for security.


"If it is decided to come back into the courthouse, I would suggest implementing these suggestions."


He was also asked to visit both the Plaza and the Fox River Mills locations prior to the county moving into the two locations.

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October 26, 2012
Click to view kmyra's profile

Voting is being heard. So many have fought throughout our history to expand voices to many. Twice a year I vote. There are many things just in your local community that you can try to  shape and change with your voice/your vote. Not doing so is staying silent and in my opinion snubbing those who have fought to hard for many to be heard. It Does Count. It's Demorcacy.

October 28, 2012
Click to view 1Courageous's profile

You should vote simply because it is your right, do you need another reason? Millioin of Americans have died to give you and protect that right, and many more will go to rest to guarantee its future, the very least you could do is exercise the rights that are by no means guaranteed across this planet. If you don't vote you better not have an opinion on anything political as far as i'm concerned, you don't get to whine if you don't participate.

October 28, 2012
Click to view mauigirl84's profile

After spending a working year in another country I love being an American and love the tradition of voting!   It is so amazing to see Americans and America through the eyes, ears, minds of non-Americans ( not all is nice mind you )  but their point of view opens my eyes and heart to how wonderful our country has been in the past and how we still INFLUENCE  our allies and how they form their political / social  and economical  values on a day to day bases!  VOTE WISELY, VOTE. BECAUSE YOU ARE IN ONE OF THE GREATEST COUNTRIES IN THE WOLRD, VOTE IN NOVEMBER.

October 31, 2012
Click to view Belize28's profile

A few years ago I went to Belize and there was a hurricane one day later. The eye of the hurricane hit EXACTLY at Gales Point which is my home town

and have the most ruthless gangs in Belize, these guys go to the city and commit crimes then run back and take refuge in Gales Point. (majority is now dead or in jail)


Last week Donald Trump got on TV and ridicule the PRESIDENT one of the most intelligent and upright man I know and couple days later hurricane develop and hit EXACTLY at Atlantic city (Trump and supporters, wonder who supporters are? Don’t have to) then move through NJ (Christie- Republican), NYC( Bloomberg- Republican), on to Boston( Mitt Romney- Rep). Still wondering? Is this a coincident?


Wait not only that but in West Virginia (State that started to trend towards the Republican)- worst snow storm ever… what about the 100+ houses that burnt down here in 5 feet of water, I guarantee if you research there are predominantly republican!


Think about it! I am confident It has nothing to do with climate change. It has everything to do with a higher power that has no patience for iniquities and those that facilitate it. Path seem clear and there is only one man that I know can pull this off.



Best regards…..



Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.

- John F. Kennedy


The greatest mistake you can make in life

is to be continually fearing you will make one.

- Elbert Hubbard


This above all, to thine own self be true.

- William Shakespeare


November 5, 2012
Click to view avroom's profile

I also live in another country. It looks like you should have ten times as many voting stations!!

November 5, 2012
Click to view avroom's profile

I'm not sure why I vote. I was hoping for protectionism before I lost my manufacturing company with 15 employees. How I'ld have to compete with $300./month labour. Seems your country is having the same problem.

January 7, 2013
Click to view NB123's profile

Chicago, Chicago; what a wonderful town!

Body count:


292 killed (murdered) in Chicago; 221 killed in Iraq in the same period, and Chicago has one of the strictest gun laws in the entire United States. Thank you for the combat zone in Chicago!


Chicago politicians of late:


~President of the United States of America: Barack Hussein Obama (Democrat)


~Senator: Dick Durbin (Democrat)


~House Representative: Jesse Jackson Jr. (Democrat)


~Governor: Pat Quinn (Democrat)


~House leader: Mike Madigan (Democrat)


~Atty. Gen.: Lisa Madigan (Democrat) daughter of Mike


~Mayor: Rahm Emanuel (Democrat)


~Past Mayors: The notorious Richard Daleys (Democrats); father and son who both served as Chicago mayors for a combined period of 43 years.     They were considered to have run the most corrupt political machine in the nation’s history.


~Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard Daley: Valerie Jarrett (Democrat); born in Shiraz, Iran, is presently serving as Senior Advisor to President Obama.


~Past Illinois Governor from Chicago: Rod Blagojevich (Democrat) presently in prison for extortion and racketeering


~Past Illinois Governor from Chicago: Daniel Walker (Democrat) sentenced to four years imprisonment for bank fraud, three years for perjury, and probation for false financial statements


~Past Illinois Governor from Chicago: Otto Kerner (Democrat)[convicted on 17 counts of mail fraud, conspiracy, perjury, and related charges]


~Past U.S. Congressman from Chicago: Mel Reynolds (Democrat)[convicted and was imprisoned on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography, also was convicted and imprisoned for 15 counts of bank fraud and lying to SEC investigators. Bill Clinton commuted the sentence for bank fraud and released Reynolds early] He is presently seeking the Jesse Jackson Jr. vacancy!


~Past U.S. Congressman from Chicago: Dan Rostenkowski (Democrat)[convicted and imprisoned for corruption and mail fraud]


~The leadership in Illinois; House and Senate: all Democrats.


~The Chicago school system is rated as one of the worst in the country, but the teachers are the highest paid with a very strong union. (Arne Duncan served as Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer from June 2001 to Dec. 2008, when Barack Obama appointed him to the post of U.S. Secretary of Education, a post that he still holds).


~State pension fund $78 Billion in debt, worst in country.


~Cook County (Chicago) sales tax 10.25% highest in country.


There is more; much more, but I think that you get the picture! And they can't blame Republicans; there aren't any! This is the political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois; this is his background. And he is going to fix Washington politics for us?


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