Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Blank puka next to
name means no vote

Question: I am sure I am not the only one who needs clarification for the upcoming elections. I hope you can help all of us. If you do not want to vote for a particular person, such as president, senator or whomever, should you leave it blank, make a big "X" on the name side or what? If it is left blank, will it register as a "no" vote for that named person or invalidate your whole vote? I take many seniors to the polls to help them vote, but I don't know how to answer these kinds of questions they have brought up lately.

Answer: If you do not want to vote for a candidate in any race, whether for president of the United States or a member of the state Legislature, "just leave it blank," said Rex Quidilla, spokesman for the state Office of Elections.

Don't mark it in any way. Leaving it blank will not invalidate your ballot.

However, your nonvote will be recorded in the total tally of voters, because "we do indicate" how many blanks there are, Quidilla said.

People might be getting confused with voting for a constitutional amendment, he noted.

"In order for a constitutional amendment to be ratified, it must obtain the majority of votes -- that's 50 percent, plus one," Quidilla explained. "'No' votes and blank votes count against the 'yes' votes."

If your friends are uncertain about voting procedures, they can check with a precinct official at the Information and Ballot Demonstration Station located at all polling places on election day.

The official will check to see if they're on the list of registered voters; verify that they're at the correct polling place; verify that they're properly registered; and instruct them on voting procedures.

This year, the primary election will be held on Saturday, Sept. 18, and the general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Q: Can you tell me where I can see (read) the exact wording of the law concerning safety sticker placement? I have a real nice motorcycle and have worked very hard to make it clean-looking. The only place I can put a safety sticker is on the rear side license plate frame so that the sticker would be facing front. If I can find the law that states the sticker must be "affixed to the rear of the vehicle" but not specifying exactly where, I could carry a copy with me.

A: Unfortunately for you, the state requires the safety sticker to be facing to the rear, specifically so it can be viewed 50 feet away.

Regarding the law that applies in this case, Dennis Kamimura, administrator for the city Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division, pointed to the Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 19, Department of Transportation, Subtitle 5, Motor Vehicle Safety Office, Chapter 133.2, Periodic Inspection of Vehicles, Section 19-133.3-24(b).

The pertinent paragraph reads, "After the certificate of inspection is signed, a two-part inspection sticker shall be affixed by the inspector upon the right, most nearly vertical portion of the rear bumper of the vehicle or on another appropriate place where the sticker can be clearly viewed by a person who is 50 feet behind the vehicle."


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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