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February 1972

January Calendar
From Our President (Dee Lum)
Voters Service
Human Resources
Unit I - Program Making
LWV of Honolulu: Program 1971-72
Unit II - Congress Study Consensus
Election Systems Survey: How Do We Rate?
League Action Service

Election Systems Survey: How Do We Rate?

Last summer the League of Women Voters Education Fund and the National Municipal League received a grant from a foundation to conduct an Elections Systems Survey throughout the United States. Three hundred Leagues throughout the U.S. were selected, to do the study in their communities. Honolulu and Hawaii County were two of these Leagues. The survey was designed by Batelle Laboratories of Columbus, Ohio.

Ruth Snyder and Nan Lowers did the survey for Honolulu. Individuals interviewed were political party and government officials; management and labor representatives; and representatives of organizations interested in voting rights and procedures. Results of the nationwide survey will be published in the National Voter in late spring.

From the questions asked, responses gathered, observations of registration made, study of election laws, and a community survey made the State of Hawaii is outstanding in its conduct of elections.

  1. Registration of voters is very simple and very easy.

  2. Every citizen has a right to register and vote since the 1968 constitutional amendments which erased literacy qualifications and restored the voting rights to convicted felons.

  3. No evidence of intimidation of voters at the polls and the "buying" of votes could be found.

  4. No evidence of fraud at the ballot box or in the count could be found.

  5. We have uniform procedures throughout the state.

These points are very important for free and meaningful elections, As the state grows in size and complexity it should be the duty of the League of Women Voters to watch and guard that none of these points slip away from the voters. Participation in voting is high but it should be higher. It would seem that perhaps the League should work even harder in helping to educate people that one individual vote does count; that changes can be made in the system by the ballot when the citizenry is concerned and cares.

Much work is going to have to be done in making campaign financing easier and the responsibility of all citizens not just a few. It would seem that at the present time the party system is the best that has been devised but it needs to be strengthened with more citizen participation and understanding of its role throughout the year rather than a few weeks before the primary and general election.

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