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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 17, 2009

Voters should make informed choices

By Janae Rasmussen

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Janae Rasmussen

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Civic engagement means being involved and educated in current events. I am adamant in keeping up with current news and debates.

An important responsibility of Americans is to exercise the hard-fought right to vote. Less than 50 percent of registered voters exercise that right in Hawai'i. Many others fail to take the time to research diligently the candidates running for public office. Voting based on your political party is an easy way to vote, but you give up the responsibility to make an informed decision. 

I do not believe the government should force you to vote. However, it is an obligation to your community and family that your views are represented.

Currently in our Legislature, well-established legislators with name recognition and cash-filled campaign coffers dominate the elections. This stagnates the productivity of the Legislature. 

My goals are to continue to take the initiative to educate myself outside of school, keep an open mind and be willing to make compromises in my views. Hopefully I will continue to grow and may run for public office (I promise I won't screw up the economy). For now, I am just an annoying teenager.

Janae Rasmussen | Grade 9, UH Laboratory School