Monday, May 16, 2022|
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In response to the article, “Voter registration database questioned” by Nancy Cook Lauer (Tribune-Herald, Jan. 13), a person applying for a Hawaii driver’s license or a state identification card through the Department of Motor Vehicles may register to vote a part of the application.
If registering to vote for the first time, the applicant must agree (“opt in”) to let the DMV share their voter information with the County Clerk.
A registered voter who later changes their name or address through the DMV is offered the opportunity to decline (“opt out”) of sharing this revised information for voter registration purposes. If the voter does not decline, their personal information is sent to the County Elections Office, where the voter registration database is updated.
Shortly before every primary election in Hawaii, a voter should receive a yellow card in the mail confirming the address to which their ballot should be sent. If one does not receive this nonforwardable yellow card, one should call the County Elections Office as there may be a problem with one’s record on the voter database.
If this card, and a second card, are returned to the County Elections Office, a voter’s name is flagged on the voter registration database and a ballot cast will be challenged, unless the voter has updated their personal information.
County clerks routinely maintain the voter registration database. However, at a single point in time, not every name on the voter registration database is entitled to vote, as people do change their residence or pass away. However, it is a felony to register or vote fraudulently, so the voter must affirm their identity when mailing in a ballot.
If someone on Oahu registered to vote as “United States Hawaii,” this should be an individual with that legal name or any ballot cast under that name would be challenged as ballots arrive at the Office of Elections to be counted.
The League of Women Voters urges every eligible citizen to register to vote and to keep their voter registration information up to date.
President, League of Women Voters of Hawaii County
Scenic once more
The Scenic Lookout on Highway 11 just north of Hilo had become so overgrown with weedy trees and shrubs that no one could even get a glimpse of the beautiful view of Hilo Bay and the ocean beyond.
I had requested help for years from all sorts of folks from government agencies to open up that view, but nothing happened until County Councilwoman Heather Kimball got involved.
A big mahalo to Heather, Department of Land and Natural Resources Deputy Director Bob Masuda and Deputy Director of Highways Ed Sniffen for getting the job done, and to the Pacific Tsunami Museum for installing an informative sign about how tsunamis have affected that area.
Now locals and tourists alike can once again enjoy the view!
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