By: Daisy Draper

The quote, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting,” by Franklin D. Roosevelt has a lot of truth in it. It is our right to vote. Why would you not want to vote? It may not seem like a big deal, but one vote can change the outcome entirely.

At the age of 18, a person can join the army, get married, buy cigarettes, and most importantly, vote. Voting is important. It puts decision making into the hands of America’s people. 

Photo 1: KSM Haumanā with Candidates for Governor – David Ige, Mufi Hanneman and Duke Aiona

I turn 18 on November 2 and will be old enough to vote in the General Election on November 4. I do plan on voting because I think it is important. I also want to be ready to vote for the next presidential election.

I was invited by KSM Internship Coordinator, Mrs. Mikell, to attend the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s 8th Annual Business Fest held at the Grand Wailea on Thursday, October 2. Since the main focus of the event was the upcoming General Election, Mrs. Mikell was even more excited about me attending the conference after finding out that I will be eligible to vote. Two more seniors attending the conference are also of age to vote on November 4.

The day was full of information. Speaking at the conference were candidates for Governor, Duke Aiona, David Ige and Mufi Hanneman; Maui County Mayoral candidates, Alan Arakawa and Tamara Paltin; and sixteen candidates running for County Council. The candidates were allowed time to explain why they are running for office and share what they believe is best for Hawai`i and Maui County.

I learned more about the GMO moratorium bill that will appear on the November 4 ballot and whether the candidates are for or against the bill. This discussion helped me understand the bill a bit more, but I am still a little confused on what exactly all of it means. 
Photo 2: Daisy Draper with lunch host,
Chad Goodfellow of GoodfellowBros., Inc.

Along with all of the information I learned, I met people who I would never have had the opportunity to meet. I met the president of the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, Doreen Nāpua Canto, who is also the Maui Hawaiian Homes Commissioner. I was also very privileged to meet the three candidates running for governor. At lunch I sat at the Goodfellow Bros., Inc. table and was able to meet the people who landscaped and designed the layout of our campus. It was an amazing experience.

Before attending the event, I did not know much about who was running for office and their stance on certain issues. I talked to my parents the night before the conference and they told me whom they were voting for and why. Overall, the event helped me get a better idea of the candidates. After being at the event and listening to what all the candidates had to say, I have chosen to make my own decision about who to vote for. I am still unsure of whom to vote for, but at least now I have a foundation to make the decision. I do feel more prepared to vote on November 4 and strongly encourage those who are eligible ...VOTE! Your vote could be the difference.