Letters for Tuesday – October 3, 2006

• Election observers are voter advocate

• Let’s be pro EIS

• Which “truth” be true?

• Lingle, hear us


Election observers are voter advocates

In response to Marj Dente and Martin Rice’s letters/comments in The Garden Island and on the Forum page concerning the recent mayoral election, and to John Hoff’s petition for a recount, I would like to provide some facts from the perspective of a volunteer election observer.

Election observers are just a few of the many volunteers representing the various political parties. They serve as the eyes and ears of the voters at the counting center to ensure the counting process is accurate, honest, and follows established procedures.

Marj Dente was concerned the election process was flawed and her ballot might have been invalidated. If she correctly followed directions she would know the voting machine would have rejected her ballot if she over-voted or voted cross-party. She would have had to consciously push a button on the machine to have it accept an incorrect ballot. A voter always has the option to request a new ballot if the voting machine detects an invalid ballot.

Dente also complained of having a hard time distinguishing the color coded parties because of the dim lighting. For the General Election, I would suggest she exercises her option to use the all electronic eSlate machine which is available at every polling location. It will not allow an invalid ballot to be cast and provides a printout that can be audited. This machine was tested by election observers and found to be accurate and very easy to use. It can be used by anyone and accommodates voters with disabilities and allows voting in several languages.

Dente’s logic is hard to follow when she states all 354 invalid ballots should be counted. Hawai‘i election law and rules are based on the assumption that voters can read and follow simple instructions. When a ballot is not marked in accordance with instructions the invalid section will not be counted, however the valid votes in the remaining sections will still be counted.

Mr. Rice’s press statement, in reference to the County Clerk’s decision on the mayoral race, “the Republicans are stealing America one vote at a time” is an insult to all election volunteers. He apparently is unaware of the role of election observers and especially those of his party. I would suggest he work harder next time to turn out more voters in his party.

  • Richard Irwin
    Lawai

Let’s be pro EIS

This mudslinging contest between anti- and pro-Superferry camps is getting nowhere. Both parties should come together and demand an Environmental Impact Statement. An EIS would tell what kind of impact, if any, would affect our islands. It would also outline precautions that the Superferry could take to reduce this impact.

I know that everyone on this island wants an affordable way to travel between the islands. I don’t know of anyone who wants it if it is going to have a negative impact on our islands. If you say you don’t care about the impact, then I don’t know what to say; I am speechless. So an EIS will delay the Superferry arrival. So what? Airline tickets are $19 one way. If an EIS shows low or no impact, then let’s welcome the Superferry with open arms. If an EIS shows an unmanageable negative impact, then goodbye, Superferry.

Whether you are anti-Superferry or pro-Superferry, we all live here. Let’s come together and demand an EIS. What will it hurt to just find out? One thing for sure, we are all pro-Hawai‘i. And so is an EIS.

  • Dave Fletcher
    Kalaheo

Which “truth” be true?

I look in the mirror and I see a proud nurse standing firm for her beliefs that the people of Kaua‘i deserve the best health care.

Name calling?

D.Q. Jackson’s smug, half-truth interview sounds like name calling to me. More money for less work is a replay of one of Kathy’s early interviews.

Have you read the proposals?

I have.

There are definitely two lines of “truth” going on here. To put it simply: The nurses were not offered a raise this contract year, nor a real voice in staffing.

  • Joan Kutzer
    Kilauea

Lingle, hear us

Editor’s note: This letter was originally submitted last Wednesday and did not run due to the delay of today’s front page article about the occurrence at Gov. Linda Lingle’s Honolulu office last week.

My heart hurts. I’ve just returned from the governor’s office.

“The people’s office,” receptionist Kau‘i Alapa called the beautiful executive offices, which are decorated with exotic gifts from around the world. The eyes of the former governors of Hawai‘i follow you as you move around this koa hale o Lingle. ‘Auwe!!

Last night more testimony was presented at the State Capitol at a meeting held by the People for the Preservation of Kaua‘i by state Sen. Gary Hooser, former Kaua‘i Chief of Police K.C. Lum, Ted Kawahinehelelani Blake of Koloa, 12-year-old Kaikea Elias of Kapa‘a, Professor Dick Mayer of Maui, Jeff Parker of Maui, Lee Tepley of Maui, and Rich Hoeppner of Wailua.

Although she was invited, Gov. Lingle did not show up again. And today refused to personally receive 6,000 of your signatures in favor of an Environmental Impact Statement for the “blooper ferry,” preferring instead to entrust your mana‘o to her receptionist. Not only would she not personally receive your mana‘o, Kaua‘i, she also refused to say when she would through her receptionist, Kau‘i Alapa. “You can’t expect to show up at my house and make demands of me. Common courtesy means you call first,” Ms. Alapa said.

We pointed out we were not at her house for coffee, rather we were in the “people’s office” to seek an appointment with the governor since she won’t return calls, letters, or approve applications from the People for the Preservation of Kaua‘i, who have been trying to gain audience with Gov. Lingle since Aug. 1.

Has Gov. Lingle sold us out?

Years ago I became a member of the Women’s Republican Party, and actively supported Gov. Lingle with cash donations and volunteer time.

I am so sorry.

  • Ka‘iulani Edens Huff
    Kapa‘a, Hawaiian Kingdom
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