April 1999 Home   Newsletters

May 1999

June-July 1999

State Convention 1999 (Jean Aoki)
President's Message (Grace Furukawa)
Welcome! (Annie Kim)
Brief Annual Meeting Report (Grace Furukawa)
Report on Mail-In Voting Consensus (Jean Aoki)
Council Adopts New Zoning Ordinance (Astrid Monson)
Next Millennium Conference Ending Domestic Violence (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Violence Prevention Committee (Annelle Amaral)
In Memory - Sylvia Levy
Americans Discuss Social Security (Jean Aoki)
Just for Fun
LWV-Honolulu Officers and Committee Chairs

Report on Mail-In Voting Consensus

The Honolulu League reached consensus supporting all-mail voting for all elections in Hawaii - primary, general and special elections. This recommendation will be made to the State Board and the final consensus will be made there.

Supporting this position were the following considerations:

  1. Hawaii already has defacto vote-by-mail as ever-increasing numbers of voters are voting via absentee ballots for various reasons, and there is every expectation that this trend will continue.

  2. The present system of dual vote-by-mail and poll site voting adds to the cost of elections.

  3. Statistics from districts on the mainland and our own experiences here in nongovernmental elections strongly indicate an increase in voter participation when mail voting is employed.

  4. The newest technology in signature checks and other safeguards can add to the accurate screening of returned ballot envelopes.

  5. Mail voting will accommodate those who are homebound, the self employed who cannot find the time to go to the polls, businesses which have difficulty releasing their employees for two hours to vote, and those who need help reading and discussing issues among other things.

  6. The Neighborhood Board elections have proven the efficiency of voting by mail.

The important argument for retaining poll site voting is the privacy this affords the voter, thus discouraging the buying of votes or the manipulation of voters. Since this privacy will no longer be available, all vote-by-mail system should be accompanied by:

  1. Vigorous education campaigns to impress upon voters that their right to vote means the right to make their own choices - the right not to be coerced by others, and that this right should be jealously guarded.

  2. The latest technology should be used and proactive plan implemented to make the whole process as fraud-free and error-free as possible to preserve the integrity of the system.

  3. Periodic signature renewals should be part of the program through re-registration and/or through collaboration with automobile registration and licensing agencies or other agencies which collect signatures periodically.

The elections Office must be staffed and funded adequately to meet all of its responsibilities - planning, education of the public recruitment of extra help during the election period, training of workers, planning and execution of security measures, evaluation of the process, etc. - to the satisfaction of all.

Jean Aoki

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