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December 1967

January 1968

Calendar
From the President - Conference on the Con Con
Speakers Bureau
Now is the Time to Join the League
December Unit Preview - Charter Amendment / Local Program (Jane Hewitt)
Time for Action (Virginia Bogard)
Attention Discussion Leaders!!!
Rosalind Cole
Conference Committee (Betty Tobiasson)
For Your Information (Tosh Tasaka)
New Career Development
Head Start Health Services
Urban Coalition (Evelyn Oishi)
Thank You - From the Ethics in Government Committee (Barbara Furniss)
Riot in Honolulu!!! Three Dead - Scores Injured (Evelyn Oishi)
Analysis: Constitutional Convention
Constitutional Convention Conference
New Members
Notes from the State Board - Voter Registrars and Non-Partisanship (Marguerite Simson)

Notes from the State Board - Voter Registrars and Non-Partisanship

Before every election League members are trained by the County Clerks to become voter registrars. This year the County Clerks and the Lieutenant Governor would like as Many as possible to take more training--the training given precinct inspectors and clerks--so that you are also able to demonstrate and explain voting procedures with the new voting equipment being purchased for Honolulu and for Hilo. The Lieutenant Governor plans to furnish demonstrators and voting equipment to any group who asks for voter information before the Con/ Con election, before the Primary, and before the General Election next fall. This is a voter service activity made to order for League members.

There will be four training sessions on Oahu* before the Con/Con election: two on January 6, and one each on January 27 and February 3. If you can take the training, call LINDA SMART 261-0543 as soon as possible, so you can have the most convenient date.

If you plan to work for your party as a precinct inspector or clerk, would you let the Voters Service Chairman know, so we can add your name to our list?

Next month your Voter Service chairman will urge you to participate even more actively in your political party than you have in past years. In 1966 the League asked members to attend precinct caucuses, candidate coffees, rallies, etc. (See Aug 1966 Aloha Voter). At that time the difference between member activity and Board member activity was spelled out. Now I have been asked to discuss again the League's method for protecting its non-partisan image while its members become avid party workers.

Partisan political activity by a League member is part of the informed participation in government which the League advocates for its members and for all citizens. The member represents herself in her political views. She does not represent the League in her own eyes, in the League's eyes, or in the eyes of the community. However, a member of a League Board must restrain her political aspirations while she is serving on the Board. Because she does on occasion speak for the League, her private political views must remain private.

In past years, great pains were taken to insulate the Board member from any contact with politics. But how can a Board member who doesn't know any politicians be effective as a lobbyist? Shouldn't she instead cultivate the politicians she knows, and become acquainted with as many others of both parties as she can? No longer do we expect the League leadership to operate in a vacuum, ignorant of the very activities we seek to influence. The Board member, who does represent the League in her activities on our behalf, must carefully refrain from endorsing candidates, indicating publicly her party preference, or making statements which could be construed as partisan in nature. She may, and should, attend political functions as an observer (not as a participant) in order to become as familiar as possible with the political process before, during, and after elections. At public meetings her questions should be phrased to exclude any hint of partisan bias. Since her questions will invariably be intelligent ones, they cannot help but cast on the League a favorable as well as a nonpartisan glow.

So--the League is political but non-partisan. Its leaders are active in the political arena only in the League's behalf. Its members may, except Board members, and are urged to, work actively for any political. party of their choice, although, of course, when they speak or act, they do so as individuals.

*Training program in Hilo to be announced later.

Marguerite Simson
State President
League of Women Voters of Hawaii

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