Joseph at Hawaii Pacific University.

A new CNN project called Change the List is trying to increase voter turnout in Hawaii, which had the lowest voter turnout rate in the 2008 general election. If you’re in Hawaii, make a pledge here to vote for the first time — and help us change the list. Please tag your photo #Hawaii and #changethelist.

You convinced them to vote

Your thoughtful messages (find 47 of them here) convinced three of these nonvoters in Hawaii to vote on Tuesday, two of them for the first time. One of them, Michael Remen, said he decided to vote because of a single message, sent from a total stranger on the Internet. This was part of CNN’s Change the List. We’re trying to boost voter participation in Hawaii, the state with the lowest turnout. Many, many thanks to all who sent in messages.

Read the full story on

A recent report from Educational Testing Services suggests that “With just over a week until the presidential election, there’s little hope of a high voter turnout among young people.” Low levels of civic engagement, limited knowledge of civics and government and indifference toward political affairs are to blame, according to the report. Voting rates are especially low among people with the lowest levels of education, with only 23 percent voting in the 2008 election. And only 4 percent of young, low-income high school dropouts voted in that election, says the report.
—  Alia Wong, writing in Civil Beat, a Hawaii news website. You can prove this study wrong. I met young people in Hawaii who are passionate about politics. Make your voices heard.
Journalism as democracy

Vote on the issues CNN columnist John D. Sutter will cover this year as part of his Change the List project. Pick five from this list of 20. He’ll start reporting on the five winners after voting closes Sunday night.

Don’t like the topics presented? Send a tweet to @jdsutter or an e-mail to ctl[at]cnn[dot]com and we’ll add it to the list of write-in candidates. CNN editors will choose the sixth Change the List topic, and that story could come from your ideas. Check out the spreadsheet with write-in topics here

Petition aims to combine Election Day with Veterans' Day (Sign it!)

After I wrote a recent article for CNN’s Change the List about why Election Day should be a federal holiday, someone created a petititon to that effet on I didn’t realize the White House’s website allowed for user-created petitions, but apparently it does, and a couple of you sent me this link on Twitter. It now has more than 7,500 signatures. Several similar petitions can be found on, but I’m highlighting the White House version because it seems to have the most support, at least at the moment. Take a look, and if you agree Election Day should be combined with Veterans Day, as The Atlantic first suggested, then take a second to sign it. I think it could go a long way toward making it logistically easier for people to vote, and symbolically reminding all of us of the sacrifices veterans made for that right.

Thanks! – John, CNN’s Change the List

Early voting numbers are up in Hawaii

More evidence Hawaii doesn’t have to finish last in voting: 

  • In 2008, 175,526 people voted early in Hawaii.
  • This year, about 180,000 people have done the same (so far).

These numbers are from Rex Quidilla in the state’s election office. They include early walk-in voting and absentee ballots that had been received as of Monday morning in Hawaii. "We just hope people come out to vote tomorrow,“ he said. CNN’s Change the List certainly hopes for the same. If all went as it did in 2008, Hawaii would need 11,466 more votes to hop off the bottom of the national list for voter turnout. You can do it, Hawaii.