Vaccines, voting and vigilance

Voter Enthusiasm

On the day of the Hawaii primary election, there were longer lines to get the Hepatitis A vaccine than there was at our neighborhood polling place.

The Honolulu clinic was professional and organized. Hepatitis A vaccines were free. I stood in line, answered three questions, signed my name, and went to one of the stations to receive a shot in the arm and a band-aid.

Our polling place was efficient and orderly. I stood in line, signed my name, received a ballot, went to one of the curtained desks to fill out the ballot, and put the ballot in the ballot machine. Knowing that we may soon switch to mail-in or electronic voting, I wanted to vote at my polling place to feel part of my community.

I decided to get the vaccination because I want to take care of myself and the people around me. The vaccine is supposed to last a lifetime, and I didn’t want to worry every time I bought groceries or ate at a restaurant..

I voted because it is both a duty and a privilege to vote, and to be reasonably informed about candidates and issues. The decisions our elected representatives make could affect us for many years after they are out of office.

As of August 10, 2016, there are 168 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. I don’t know how many people have received the vaccination, but people are vigilant about their health: news reports say that pharmacies are seeing an influx of people seeking vaccinations, and insurance companies are responding to concerns by offering prescriptions or free or low-cost vaccinations.

In the 2016 Hawaii primary election, 252,703 voters (34.8% of registered voters) determined the outcome of US Congress, State Legislature, city mayor, and OHA races, according to the Hawaii Office of Elections. Our health may not be directly affected by elections, but too few Hawaii residents are vigilant about our peace of mind, our quality of living, and our wallets.

Did you vote in the Hawaii primary election? Did you make choices for good candidates or against poor candidates?

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