Your Views for February 10

Support for AVR

Our democracy works best with maximum participation in elections, and to vote in elections you must be registered.

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Hawaii has the opportunity this year to make voter registration much easier through a process called Automatic Voter Registration, or AVR for short. There are several bills before the state Legislature that would enact AVR in Hawaii.

Under an AVR system, a person is automatically registered to vote when he or she gets or renews a driver’s license unless the person specifically requests not to register. Currently, citizens can register to vote when they get a license, but under AVR the registration would be automatic.

There are many advantages to an AVR system. First of all, it is easy and convenient for the voters. Currently, to register to vote, a voter must complete a paper form provided by the county clerk or go online to complete the registration process. Not everyone has access to computers or transportation to register to vote in person. AVR will make voter registration more convenient and help increase participation in elections.

Under federal law, anyone applying for a driver’s license must present proof of citizenship with a birth certificate or passport, a Social Security card and documents that prove their legal residence. These requirements, along with AVR, will ensure that eligible citizens are registering to vote and that they are registering at their proper residence.

In addition, the voter’s information and signature can be sent quickly and securely to the Office of Elections. The Office of Elections supports AVR and has already made plans to implement this type of system.

In 2020, the State of Hawaii implemented elections by mail for all elections. It was a great success, and the most voters in history participated in the general election. However, persons who missed the voter registration deadline were required to go in person to a Voter Service Center to register and vote.

There were limited numbers of Voter Service Centers, only two on the entire Big Island, resulting in people having to travel long distances if they wished to register and vote on Election Day. There were also hours long lines at some of these centers. Automatic Voter Registration will greatly reduce the number of people who must travel and wait in line on Election Day.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii County strongly supports Automatic Voter Registration and urges all Big Island legislators help enact this important legislation in this legislative session.

Rosemarie Muller

President, League of Women Voters of Hawaii County

The greatest threat

So why is the country so savagely divided? (Because the other side are idiots!) The left violently rioted for weeks over the summer in multiple cities. The right recently followed in D.C.

Actually, a major cause is information overload. Since you can find almost anything you want on the infinite internet — including “facts” that prove you are right and wrong — both sides can find “proof” that they are “right.”

Who is fact checking the fact-checkers?

Only in this techno age, we have a tsunami of information screaming at us almost 24/7! But, our ability to discern truth and relevance has fallen far far behind. In short, most people give up and simply believe the information they want to believe.

So, guard against what you want to believe. That is what can destroy you and everything dear. It is what has destroyed the greatest of men and nations.

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Leighton Loo

Mililani, Oahu

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