HONOLULU, Hawaii (KHON2) – The countdown to Primary Election day is on. With nearly a week left, a group of youth leaders are coming together to educate first-time voters and increase voter turnout.
While the pandemic put the world on pause, a group of high school and college students went straight to work on the Ho’ohuli Youth Project.
For the past five months, the Ho’ohuli Youth team has worked tirelessly to create an educational hub for new voters.
“It is intimidating to vote, especially for the first time,” said Erin Eriques, team member of the Ho’ohuli Youth Project. “When you don’t know a lot about different issues going on, it’s kind of hard to make decisions on who’s going to be the face of our community essentially.”
“We wanted to essentially compile resources from candidate surveys, interviews, or the many forums that have been happening and kind of extract the candidates stances on different issues that youth care about,” said Anna Chua, team member of the Ho’ohuli Youth Project.
The Ho’ohuli Youth website includes a voter guide, interviews with experts and a break down of community issues.
“These are issues that take to youth concerns. Whether it be in their district or just in their communities in general. We wanted to use those as focal points. So whether it be like sustainability or Aina, we kind of researched what candidates have said before regarding these issues,” Chua said.
“We’re hoping that by doing that, we’ll get other people to vote,” said Eric Jonah Loria, team member of Ho’ohuli Youth Project. “We’re reaching out to our family members, our friends, our community, to make sure their voices are heard, because now more than ever, we’re in such an unorthodox time. I think it’s very important that our voices and our vote is being heard.”
The team hopes this is the beginning of youth-driven initiatives that helps create a better future for all.
“I think this is an opportunity for us to increase voter turnout, but we can’t really do that if voters are not engaged and are not aware of how to partake in issues that they care about and how to change those things,” said Chua.
For more information about the Ho’ohuli Youth Project, click here.