Election Laws (Nan Lowers)
Who Speaks for League?
National Board Member Visits Hawaii
From the President (Marguerite Simson)
The April, 1965, Hawaii Voter carried two articles of general interest on legislation which was at that time being considered in one or both houses of the Legislature. The final outcome of Election Laws legislation and of Senate Reapportionment is the subject of this legislative report.
Forty-five bills dealing with elections in some way were introduced into the 1965 Legislative Session. Two bills were passed. One law provides that re-registration is necessary only if a voter fails to vote in both the primary and general election. Previously the voter had to vote in the general election to stay on the rolls. The second law streamlined certain antiquated provisions in the election laws. It gave to the Lieutenant
Governor discretion in the selection and distribution of voting machines which formerly had been the duty of a voting machine board. These 'housekeeping" changes will be noted here and there throughout the Election Laws Study Guide marked with asterisks.
Reapportionment of the Hawaii State Senate is now in the hands of the Supreme Court. The reapportionment plan approved by a majority of legislators in both houses of the Hawaii Legislature was turned down by the Federal Court which had ordered the reapportionment.
A decision by the Supreme Court to hear the case can come soon after its session opens on October 4. League members should watch the newspapers for developments. If the Supreme Court does agree to hear the case, the decision could come as late as the summer of 1966. If it refuses to hear the case, the decision of the Federal Court will stand. That decision orders the Legislature to pass no laws until it provides an opportunity for the people to vote an the question of calling a state constitutional convention. If the people vote for a constitutional convention, the LWV will have much Voter Service to do. If the people vote against the convention route the court will apportion.
The current study of apportionment as a National Agenda item is concerned with national implications and constitutional implications of "one man-one vote" vs. factors other than population on apportionment of state legislatures. A knowledge of Hawaii's apportionment problems should serve as an example of the difficulties and as an aid to understanding the issues but not as the basis for decision of the larger issue.
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