The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is calling on the Hawaii State Legislature to take steps to remedy problems in voting operations that surfaced in the 2012 elections.
The League will follow with interest the review of the 2012 elections which the Election Commission is required by law to conduct.
We ask the Legislature to respond to this review as necessary to ensure that in future elections voters are not faced with avoidable inconvenience and frustration as occurred in Hawai`i County on August 11 and in Honolulu City and County on November 6, 2012.
President Beppie Shapiro explained, “The League of Women Voters believes that voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be protected.
“Problems encountered in the November 6 General Election, which included ballot shortages, incorrect ballots which did not reflect the candidates for the district, excessive wait times for determination of eligibility to vote or of correct polling site, turning away voters who did not provide a photo ID, and long lines at polling places.
“These voter access problems undermine the most fundamental feature of a democracy, a citizen’s right to vote. With Hawai`i’s dismal voter participation rate receiving national attention, the League is distressed to learn that many people who tried to vote in Tuesday’s election found the process so onerous that they gave up and did not complete ballots. This is unfair to candidates as well as to voters.”
Citizens of Hawai`i deserve to know why the problems occurred, and what needs to be done to improve the voting process and ensure that the state does not face similar problems in the 2014 elections.
A position statement about election laws and procedures is available on the League of Women Voters’ website: http://www.lwv-hawaii.com/position.htm#Election
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is a grassroots, nonpartisan political organization, that encourages informed citizen participation in government and politics.