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From the President
When you go into the ballot booth on November 8, you will have the opportunity to vote for a very important state constitutional amendment. Proposed amendment #7 reads: "Shall the requirements of minimum representation among basic island units be removed and the basis for reapportionment be changed from a registered voter base to a population base."
We support this proposal and urge you to vote yes. A yes vote means that you support the basic right to equality of representation, which is a right guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
Equality of representation is often referred to as "one person-one vote" and means that every legislator must represent just about the same number of people. That is critical to a representative democracy in order to make sure that your voice is of equal weight with other citizens. In our democracy we are equal not only in terms of, human rights but in terms of political rights as well.
Currently our state constitution does not follow the basic guarantee of equal representation. It actually allows for legislative districts that will be very unequal in terms of population. It permits the voices of people in some, wealthier areas to be stronger than those in poorer or more crowded areas.
Our state laws should always conform to the U.S. Constitution, and that is what the amendment would bring about. The unfairness that exists in our present law can be eliminated if you vote yes on proposed constitution amendment #7.
Proposed amendment #2 reads: "Shall the qualifications for voting in the State of Hawaii be changed to eliminate the one-year residency requirement which has been found unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court?"
We urge you to say yes to this proposal also. Again, making this change will bring our state constitution into line with what is required by the U.S. Constitution. In fact, even if this amendment fails to pass, our state must ignore the unconstitutional one-year residency requirement - so why keep that obsolete language?
Ever since the early 1970's, states have not been able to require a one-year (or even a three-month) residency requirement for voting. The Supreme Court has said that a 30-day period should be ample time for a state to make sure there is not fraud and take care of administrative tasks. Hawai'i follows the 30-days requirement. Isn't it time that our constitution's language reflect reality and what is legal?
Remember, vote yes on #2 and #7!
|July 1988||Home Newsletters||December 1988|