The Power of Hawaiʻi’s Voters: Agency and Representation in Elections

The 2020 election demonstrated the power and influence of BIPOC voters—Black, Indigenous, and other people of color—and young voters. The national election saw its highest voter turnout in over a century, and our local election surpassed voter participation rates of the last two decades. How and why did Hawaii break from being one of the states with the lowest voter turnout, to experiencing 150,000 new voters in the primaries? What behaviors and decisions energize people to take collective action? And, how do we keep this momentum going?

This panel discussion features insight from Dr. Ngoc Phan, Assistant Professor at Hawaii Pacific University; Davis Price, Community Outreach Manager at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Dr. Amy Agbayani, Community Civil Rights and Immigration Advocate; and Dyson Chee, Coalition Director of Vote16HI.

This program is part of the Why it Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils, funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and created in partnership with the Hawaii Council for the Humanities and the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center. Mahalo to the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Public Policy Center for co-sponsoring this program.


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