Election Laws and Procedures
POSITION IN BRIEF
Action to insure that government at all levels pays for special elections; private funds should not be solicited or accepted.
Action to support adequate safeguards to preserve the integrity of the ballot used in absentee voting and elections by mail, to insure fairness to all voters, and to minimize the opportunity for fraud.
Action to support voter registration by mail, utilizing proper safeguards.
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii believes that elections are public business and should be funded by public money to insure fairness. Paying for a special election may allow a private party to influence the timing of the election to its own advantage. Equally important, private funding may be perceived as conferring such an advantage, further undermining the public's faith in the integrity of the election process. Therefore, private funds to pay for elections should not be solicited or accepted.
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports safeguards in voting laws and procedures including the following:
- Procedures for handling mailed-in ballots must be secure and specified in detail by law to insure uniformity in each county.
- Absentee ballot applications should be mailed directly to the applicant by the office of the county clerk. They should be returned directly to the clerk's office. No intermediaries should be allowed.
- Signatures must be checked against the original registration.
- Attention should be focused on minimizing the opportunity for fraud.
- Regulations should not be so restrictive as to discourage voting.
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports registration by mail to increase accessibility to the electoral process. Mail registration should employ appropriate safeguards to minimize the opportunity for fraud.
(Consensus, July 1986; January 1987)
The right of every citizen to vote is a basic League principle, so the laws governing elections are naturally a prime area of interest for the League. The first study adopted by the newly-formed League of Women Voters of Hawaii in 1966 was a Study of State Election Law Administration. It was completed and later dropped from the program because most positions had been achieved.
In 1984 a special election on an initiative measure in Kauai County focused much attention on several issues involving Hawaii's election laws. One was the question of whether private funds should be used to pay for public elections; another was absentee voting procedures and the handling of absentee ballots.
After rejecting a proposal to reach a position on funding through the concurrence process, the state board proposed to the 1985 state convention the adoption of a Study of Election Laws, to include issues relating to financing of elections, special elections, registration procedures, and absentee balloting procedures. Positions have been reached, but as yet no major action has been taken.
Election Laws Study: Part I: Who Should Pay for Special Elections? League of Women Voters of Hawaii, 1986
Election Laws Study: Part II: Absentee Voting - Elections by Mail - Registration by Mail. League of Women Voters of Hawaii, 1986