Maui residents like to complain about county and state government, but many don’t take a stand by voting.
Voter turnout in the 2008 primary was a dismal 21,066 (25.6 percent). Luckily, participation rose to 52,039 (61.1 percent) in the General Election, when the races were decided.
The 2010 Primary Election on Sept. 18 is important, because key posts are up for grabs.
Democrats Neil Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann are battling for the opportunity to face Republican James “Duke” Aiona in the governor’s race.
Mayor Charmaine Tavares faces ten challengers in her bid for reelection. Only two will survive to compete in the Nov. 2 General Election.
The stakes are high for the West Maui seat on the County Council, with Su Campos, Eve Clute, Elle Cochran, Alan Fukuyama, Zeke Kalua, Ke‘eaumoku Kapu and Paul Laub all vying for the post that Councilwoman Jo Anne Johnson has handled so well.
The other crowded field is competing for the Makawao-Haiku-Paia council seat. With Mike Molina leaving the panel, Mary Ribucan Cochran, Kai Nishiki, Leona Bak Nomura and Mike White want the job.
If you need proof that every vote counts, look to the 2004 General Election, when Kam Tanaka defeated Tenth District Rep. Brian Blundell by 58 votes.
Then, in the 2006 Republican Primary for the same House seat, Ben Azman beat Kay Ghean by just 21 votes!
If there are candidates you believe in, make sure you vote for them. Get involved and make a difference in Maui politics.