Hawaii’s Dirty Little Secret

October 12, 2010

Yes means YES, and no means NO, but what I’ll bet you didn’t know is a blank vote on ballot measures in Hawaii also means NO. That’s right. This is why the mandated ‘every ten-year vote’ for a Constitutional Convention never gets anywhere.

And it’s why so many other seemingly sensible ballot measures never pass in Hawaii. And guess where this little idiosyncrasy came from? According to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center in Washington D.C.,

“The state Supreme Court ruled at the behest of the Hawaii AFL-CIO that blank ballots were to be included as “ballots cast” and that “yes” votes had to total more than both “no” and blank votes for the measure to pass.”

Who wudda thunk? In addition to that, the powers that be (those thwarting any change in how government works) are very crafty with ballot measure wording. Even after careful consideration many people due to the tricky verbiage of these measures do not really understand what a yes or no vote means. Consequently more than a few voters are so confused they leave it blank. And a blank vote is counted as a NO vote. Bingo. Mission accomplished, status quo, not enough yeas to pass the measure!

So while we’re on the subject of ballot measures I urge all of you to vote YES on the Appointed School Board Ballot Measure November 2nd. As an employer, a citizen or a parent we need to be able to hold School Board members accountable and whatever you do, don’t leave your ballot blank on that issue, or any of the ballot measures!

Aloha, Mikie


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