March 2009 Home   Newsletters

September 2009

December 2009

President's Message
A Case Not to Miss
Adequate Funding of Elections is a Must (Jean Aoki)
Leaguers Came Through for ConCon Activities (Jean Aoki)
Local League Reports: Honolulu (Piilani Kaopuikiu)
Local League Reports: Hawaii (Helen Hemmes)

Adequate Funding of Elections is a Must

The Senate Ways and Means Committee held a briefing on September 15 to obtain information from the state Office of Elections on the implementation of its fiscal biennium 2009 – 2011 budget, the contract awarded for voting equipment for the 2008 elections, the recent request for proposals for voting equipment for the 2010 elections, and any pending litigation. Yes, the Elections Office is facing quite a few problems, not the least being lack of adequate funding. Hopefully, the briefing clarified the minimum budgetary needs for the Office to assure a secure and credible election.

No Elections, No Government We can't have representative democracy without elections. The more flawless the election and the greater voter participation in the vote, the more legitimate the government. The greater the enthusiasm of the voters, the more power they will wield in the halls of government.

We cannot afford to botch an election; we can't have a dress rehearsal the day before; we can’t do over an election. Everything has to be orchestrated just so, so that on Election Day all the necessary advance preparations have been completed, everyone is at his/her post with the appropriate training, the equipment has been tested, ballots have been scrutinized, tested for user-friendliness and distributed to the right precincts in the right numbers, and all of the polling sites are staffed. Professional staff who understand and anticipate problems and can solve them must be in place. The voters must know where to vote. When voters have problems they must be helped by friendly workers.

Adequate Funds a Must Money is needed to get it right. The State must fund the office adequately to allow for the immediate planning and preparation for the 2010 elections: the hiring and training of staff; the preparation of informational material about polling sites; instructional material on the use of the voting machines; etc. The process cannot wait while we argue about where the money is coming from and whether the Elections Office shouldn't make do with much less money as all other agencies are doing. The Office must be assured of adequate funding now.

Jean Aoki

March 2009 Top   Home   Newsletters December 2009