Winter 2004 Home   Newsletters

Spring 2005

Summer 2005

Presidential Thoughts (Sue Irvine)
State Convention Called for May 21, 2005 (JoAnn Maruoka)
Updated Membership Directory Coming Soon (Jackie Parnell)
Nominating Committee Preliminary Report (Sumiye Konoshima)
National Delegates Sought (Carol Bain)
National FOI Day Conference: Congress and the Courts... (Carol Bain)
In Celebration of Women (Shannon Wood)
Women's History Month Activities

Presidential Thoughts

A Belated Happy Presidents' Day!

Many thanks to Mary Ann Raywid and her committee for throwing the first party ever given by the League of Women Voters of Hawaii. It was a lovely evening in a lovely setting at Kapi'olani Community College with scrumptious food provided by the food services students. Those of us who attended had a good time, ate well, and picked up some bargains at auction. As s fundraising event, perhaps it was not as successful as our annual non-event; however, just having fun could attract more members and friends which is something we need to do all the time.

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The 2004 Elections are over, but the national debate about what sort of machines we should use to tally votes is still in full swing - as it should be.

Prior to the last National Convention in June, 2004, the LWVUS held that a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail - VVPAT - for balloting was unnecessary. Local and state Leagues throughout the nation disagreed with this position and brought their doubts to the National Convention. As a result, the delegates passed a resolution modifying the national position to read as follows: "In order to ensure integrity and voter confidence in elections, the LWVUS supports the implementation of voting systems and procedures that are secure, accurate, recountable, and accessible." LWVUS is interpreting this to mean that it does not support or oppose "any type of technology per se, such as direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines, VVPT, or optical scan."

Having worked as an observer at the County of Hawai's counting center for the past 10 election cycles, I have confidence that our optical scan election system works well for the majority of voters and that it meets the League's "secure, accurate, recountable" criteria.

Although the optical scan system is not accessible to some voters with disabilities, they do have access to DRE machines at each precinct. Nevertheless, I have concerns about the ability of DRE votes to be credibly audited as well as about the lack of confidence in electronic machines by a broad spectrum of voters.

Democracy is a system "of the people, by the people, and for the people" which implies that citizens must be able to audit the results of an election. This ability is called into question when one machine/system is recording votes, storing the results, and printing out the results for an audit trail as do Hawaii's DREs.

A February, 2004 Scientific American article said, "A number of methods for adding voter verifiability to electronic machines have been suggested, and they all have one thing in common: paper."

I would like to hear from any reader of this newsletter who can describe a system that is "secure, accurate, recountable, and accessible" that does not have a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail. You can reach me at my new address at 1443 Wailuku Drive, Hilo 96720 or call me at 808/935-8080 or send me an e-mail - irviner002@hawaii.rr.com.

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The Honolulu League has welcomed new member Kimberlee Bassford who is doing a documentary on Patsy Mink titled AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY. The League of Women Voters of Hawaii will be managing Kim's grant money from the Hawaii Committee for the Humanities.

Kim would like to hear from League members who knew Patsy Mink and would be willing to share their recollections.

So that you can get a sense of Kim's professional qualifications, one of her previous film projects, THE MEANING OF FOOD, will air on PBS here in Hawaii April 7, 14, and 21.

Sue Irvine


League of Women Voters of Hawaii

President - Sue Irvine

Secretary - JoAnn Maruoka

Treasurer - Diana Cummings

Editor - Shannon Wood

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