Now that candidate filings are closed for the 2012 election cycle, it is time for individuals to make sure they do their part and register to vote.
This year, more than ever, it is important to make sure you are registered for the primary election. You can download the instructions and application form online at hawaii.gov/elections/voters/registration.htm.
Deadline for registration for the primary is only a month away - July 12. Your voter registration application must be postmarked by that date. The primary election itself will be held Aug. 11.
There are contested races for the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate, as well as several of the Maui County Council seats. So a large part of this year's election will be decided in the primary.
In 2010, only 34 percent of registered voters in Maui County took the time to vote in the primary. With important decisions like who will replace retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka on the line, we can't afford such indifference this year. Traditionally, U.S. senators from Hawaii serve for decades, so it is important to become knowledgeable about the candidates and select one you think is good for the long term.
This year in the two national races - 2nd District U.S. House and U.S. Senate - we think the selections need to be people who will help break the gridlock in Washington. Therefore, we're looking for candidates who are willing to work on a bipartisan basis for solutions to the large problems facing the country.
As we've written before, the key is not to just blindly follow party labels or mindlessly re-elect incumbents. Look for candidates who are actually proposing solutions and are effective communicators who can persuade others to join in the search for answers.
The first step, though, is to be sure you are registered to vote. Then research the candidates so your selections are the ones best equipped to lead the county, state and country.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.