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to the Editor

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Friday, September 29, 2000


Voters have many
primary concerns

Voting machines' snafus marred election

When I went to vote in the primary election at 7 a.m., there was already a line because the ballot-counting machine was malfunctioning. This is ridiculous.

I was further enraged when there was no privacy cover for anyone's ballot. When I asked the supervisor of my polling station why, he said there just weren't any covers. No other explanation was given.

Since there was only one ballot-counting machine, why was there no back-up plan when it broke down? Why can't there be a locked box with a slot to take ballots that won't work with the machine?

From what I saw, every other ballot was rejected. It took me seven tries to get it to accept mine.

I will vote absentee in the general election to avoid a repeat of this farce. No wonder voter turnout is so low. Junk machinery plus incompetent poll workers equal voter apathy.

Ray Cranage

Repeated instructions led to fewer errors

When we found the spoiled rate of ballots at our polling station to be very high in the beginning, we reviewed and re-emphasized the talk we gave to each voter at the demonstration station. We also repeated instructions as the ballot-issuing clerk handed each voter his or her ballot. After that, our spoiled ballot rate dropped dramatically.

Also, isn't it great that the machines could detect a problem with errors and give voters a second chance? Under the old drop-it-in-the-slot system, the spoiled ballots were rejected but voters never knew it!

A.L. Temple

Absentee ballots weren't mailed out

I am a college student from Kapolei, attending college on the mainland, who reads your paper online to keep up with the local news. I'll tell you one reason the state might have gotten a low voter turnout in the primary elections.

I mailed my absentee voter registration to the city clerk's office, making sure my information was correct. I sent it in early to make sure my absentee ballot would get to me before the primary, and I could send it back to Hawaii in ample time.

One week rolled by, then two, then three. Then the day of the primary election came and I still didn't have an absentee ballot. I never got it.

I wonder how many other absentee voters had the same thing happen to them. When I called the city clerk's office, all I was told was that it had been sent to me. So where is it?

I took the time to register to vote and to uphold my duty as a U.S. citizen. The city should make sure those who are temporarily out-of-state get their ballots. Get on the ball!

I hope I get my general election ballot on time.

Misty A. Pang
Bridgewater, Mass.

Send chief election officer to the Balkans

There may be a run-off election in war-torn Yugoslavia between the incumbent, President Slobodan Milosevic, and his challenger, Vojislav Kostunica, as early as Oct. 8. Already we are hearing the ugly allegations of, yes, election fraud.

In the spirit of international cooperation and good will, let's show our aloha and send Dwayne Yoshina, our venerable chief election officer, to the Balkans to sort this mess out. After all, who has more experience with managing Third World elections than him?

I know, I know. Some might say that his expertise is needed here at home. But I say this is not the time to be selfish. Godspeed, Dwayne Yoshina.

Michael Parry

Low voter turnout maintains status quo

State election officials are again scratching their heads at the low voter turnout for our primary elections, as if the solution eludes them.

How many states conduct their primary elections after the major parties have already held their state and national nominating conventions? If you want to generate interest in the primaries, hold them when they will have the greatest impact.

Here's another thought: As leaders of Third World nations know, a low voter turnout nearly always favors the party in power. Things like Saturday polling days and post-convention primaries serve only to perpetuate the status quo.

High voting numbers are a sign that people are involved and interested in the issues and candidates, and that's a threat to incumbents.

If Hawaii wants to move past mediocre legislatures and a lagging economy, we need an involved electorate. But that will mean election procedures designed with democracy in mind, not perpetuation of power.

Enough head-scratching. Fix the system.

Ken Armstrong




"I don't think there will be a problem.
These issues are small and there's enough
common sense that we can
almost do it on the phone."

David Black
Confident about reaching an acquisition
agreement with Liberty Newspapers
and Gannett Co. for the 118-year-old
afternoon daily by an
Oct. 27 deadline


"I feel personally violated."

Ray Lovell
Who reported that, at his voting place at
Maunalani Community Park on Sierra Drive
during the primary election, a poll worker
grabbed his completed ballot from him and
looked at it before feeding it
into the checking machine


Stadium plate lunches need improvement

The real frustration at the first University of Hawaii home game was not really the back-up around the parking lot at Aloha Stadium. Nor was it the communication problem when the Honolulu Police Department failed to alert Warrior supporters as they approached the gates.

The real frustration was the food sold at the stadium by new concessionaire.

Not only were the plate lunches overpriced, they didn't give you enough in each plate. Hot dogs were sold out by the third quarter.

The food prices and portions missed the mark. I hope to see improvement in the weeks to come, starting tomorrow!

Randy K. Miyamoto

It was a mistake to change nickname

Last year, when the University of Hawaii football players were known as the Rainbow Warriors, they were on a winning team. Now that they are Warriors, how many games have they won?

Why would someone mess with a winning system? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Gayle Boc

Flea market should be closed on game days

For the second straight year, the University of Hawaii and its fans who attended the football season's opener were sabotaged by the failings of the stadium authority to implement a satisfactory parking lot policy.

It's clear the powers-that-be didn't learn from last year's opening game, which saw many fans unable to get into the lot at a reasonable time.

The obvious solution? On home game days, scrap the morning Aloha Flea Market and open the parking lot earlier. So why wasn't this solution undertaken Sept. 9 after the 1999 opening day fiasco?

Simple. The authority isn't willing to give up eight days of flea market revenues to accommodate one of the very things the stadium was built for: UH football. This negligence is surpassed only by its greed and stupidity.

Chris Kindelon

Fasi kept changing his position

During a televised mayoral debate on KITV-4, Frank Fasi told us that running for office is "in his blood" and Jeremy Harris can't be trusted. Then, only days before the election, Fasi changes strategy and starts attacking Hannemann over Harris.

On election night, before the second returns are announced and in front of the TV cameras again, Republican Fasi promises Democratic Lt. Governor Mazie Hirono his support in her campaign for governor in 2002.

After the second returns, Fasi concedes defeat and makes his way over to Hannemann headquarters, where for some strange reason he is greeted with loud applause. Standing on stage, Fasi endorses Hannemann and begins attacking Harris.

Later that same evening, Fasi admits that he may again run for mayor in 2002, thus likely pitting him against Hannemann once more. Finally, Fasi ends the night by attacking his own party chairwoman, Linda Lingle, for not being inclusive enough.

After witnessing how sneaky and disloyal he is, I'm left wondering just what kind of blood fuels a political animal like Fasi. I'm now convinced that he is addicted to power and craves attention.

Mike Peters

Clintons were cleared on Whitewater charges

Shame on you for your Sept. 23 editorial that said "insufficient evidence" in the Whitewater investigation doesn't mean complete exoneration for the Clintons.

"Innocent until proven guilty" are not mere words but the foundation of our legal system. Just because your editorial writers don't like the outcome of a legal proceeding, they don't get to play word games.

This was the most thorough prosecutorial investigation ever. It was carried out by a determined, zealous prosecutor. The final report concludes there is no case to demonstrate wrongdoing to a judge and jury.

It would have been nice if the prosecutor had used the word innocent in his final report but, given the nature of the case, that would've been surprising. However, the omission of that word doesn't change its meaning.

The report found them innocent. Period. Now let's move on to the debate of policy issues, and character and moral issues, too. These are important attributes for our leaders.

Walt Barnes
Kapaa, Kauai

Give WikiWiki ferry service a try

I recently rode the new WikiWiki ferry from Iroquois Point/Ewa Beach to Aloha Tower, and the service was great (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 11). At the end of the ferry ride, a shuttle drove through the downtown area and dropped me off near the Capitol in a timely fashion.

I urge all residents of Kapolei, Ewa and Waipahu to consider taking the ferry at least once as an alternate way to get downtown. They'll find the ride to be smooth, quick and very comfortable.

Rep. Willie Espero
(D) 41st District
Ewa Beach/Lower Waipahu

Former Bishop trustees have done great damage

It's nice to hear that the pain of the former Bishop Estate trustees will be over (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 22). But what about the continuing discomfort felt by those who were affected by their actions?

I am one of those whose financial nest eggs have been destroyed by a series of events, including the overpriced fees charged by the former trustees for leasehold conversion, that led to the deflation in Hawaii real estate prices.

So much of what I've read about this issue has been tied to the Japanese bubble bursting and the slowdown in the economy. I haven't read anything about the impact of the Bishop fee conversions, which enriched the trustees personally and made a wide deficit between what I owe and what I can get if I sell my condo.

Good for the trustees that their pain has ended. Too bad for me that mine remains.

Miriam Rosenthal
Alexandria, Va.

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