Aloha, October 7, 2012
Tomorrow is the deadline to register to vote in this fall's election. Please encourage any of your friends, family or neighbors, who have not yet registered, to register now. Voter registration only needs to be post-marked by tomorrow. You can get a voter registration form on-line from the Hawaii Office of Elections here. And, if you have moved in the last two years, you must also complete a new voter registration form available here.
My service in Afghanistan taught me a number of simple truths. One of which is the importance of voting.
While in Afghanistan, I was honored to have met and worked with the local district governor in my brigade's area of operations. I recall listening to the governor, through a translator, explain to me that for over a 1,000 years power in his country was wielded by, and for the exclusive benefit of, whomever held the most weapons. Caring for families, living conditions, or children's education, was irrelevant.
The simple, but powerful concept that individuals can vote to select their government has changed that approach in Afghanistan. I did not, however, have the heart to share with the Afghan governor that in my home state, less than 40% of those people eligible to vote actually vote.
As Americans, we are blessed with amazing rights and privileges by mere virtue of living in the United States. Please take a moment this weekend to find at least one person you know and get them registered and get them to vote.
Voting has been and will always be the only true way to make a difference in our state and nation.
Charles K. Djou