CNN: Hawaii: The state that doesn’t vote

Published October 2012

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In 2008, Hawaii had the lowest voter turnout in the U.S. How come? And can they Change The List for the 2012 election?

Reporter John Sutter and I traveled to Hawaii in the weeks leading up to the 2012 election to talk with residents about why they choose to vote or not, and how the election effects their lives.

The was the pilot story in a series called “Change The List.” (A series that was inspired, somewhat, by a previous story John and I produced called Mauritania: Slavery’s Last Stronghold, about the last country in the world to abolish slavery). The idea behind Change The List was to produce stories about a place or topic on the bottom of a list. During the reporting process we would try to understand why a problem existed, but we would also talk to experts about how the problems can be addressed. Then, upon publication, we would actively encourage our audience to participate by providing information about what they can do to help and drive change. Ultimately, the goal is to change the list. Because the series toed the delicate line between journalism and advocacy, these stories were considered opinion pieces, and were vetted and published according to those standards. This series, and this story in particular, was the first reported video opinion story produced by CNN.

Read the full story here.

John kept a Tumblr updated throughout our reporting, so our readers could follow along.

Other stories from the Hawaii reporting

Hawaii’s homeless candidate for Congress
Yo, Internet: Convince me to vote!
6 ways to boost Hawaii’s voter turnout
Hawaii doesn’t have to finish last in voting
47 of your pro-voting arguments
Where ‘Republican’ is a dirty word
Searching for the ‘Kings’ of West Maui

And, most importantly, did Hawaii change its place on the list?

Hawaii ties for last in voting (hooray!?)