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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 1:07 a.m., Wednsday, November 6, 2002

Kids choose Hirono, Matsunaga

By Walter Wright
Advertiser Staff Writer

The Democratic gubernatorial team of Mazie Hirono and Matt Matsunaga narrowly defeated Republicans Linda Lingle and Duke Aiona in KidsVoting yesterday, an exercise in which students from kindergarten to 12th grade were invited to vote on line.

In final results released at about 6:25 last night, Hirono and Matsunaga had 24,721 votes or 43.36 percent of those cast, compared to 24,360 or 42.73 percent for Lingle and Aiona.

The children also gave a substantial vote for the late U. S. Rep. Patsy Mink, honoring her with 61 percent of the vote, compared to Republican Bob McDermott's 24 percent in the 2nd Congressional race

On the constitutional amendment proposal that would allow private schools to apply for tax exempt bonds, 58 percent or 33,775 voted "no" compared with 24,331 or 42 percent voting "yes."

Brittany Marsicek, 9, of Kailua, cast her Kids Voting ballot at 3:30 p.m. at Kailua Intermediate School, but didn't know if she'd be able to stay up late enough to see the results of the real election.

"I usually have to go to bed by 8:30 on a school night," she said.

Marsicek and pals Elaine Owen, 12, and Noelle Owen, 10, all voted for GOP gubernatorial candidate Lingle and running mate Aiona yesterday, but Elaine Owen predicted that Mazie Hirono would win.

"Most people in Hawai'i vote for Democrats," Elaine said. "I voted for Lingle, but I think Mazie might win."

"It could be close," said Marsicek, who attends school at Hickam Air Force Base. "People closer to the base are for Mazie, but more people over here are for Lingle."

Marsicek was glad for the chance to cast a "kids" ballot. "Kids Voting is a good idea," she said. "It might help you figure out what to think about when you are really voting."

Elaine Owen agreed: "It teaches kids to be good citizens," she said.

"And it tells kids it's fun, and important, to vote," sister Noelle said.

Reach Walter Wright at wwright@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8054.