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Consensus Statement on Ethics
President's Message (Marguerite Simson)
League Believes in Issues First
State Board Notes
Join a Party - Join a Precinct
Primary Facts (Nan Lowers)
Discussion Leadership
Speakers Bureau
Overseas Education Fund

Primary Facts

Those of you who worked registering voters in the 1966 election all realized how little citizens know about a "closed primary" -- - about our primary law!

Most of us were interested in the fight to repeal the law in last year's general session of the Legislature. We feel, therefore, this is a timely subject. So here is a quick brush-up.

Hawaii has a DIRECT PRIMARY. This election is held by a political party for the nomination of candidates for offices. It is direct in that the voter casts his vote directly for his choice — not indirectly as is the case when all candidates are nominated by a party convention. Hence if a candidate has enough signatures (in spite of not getting nomination at party convention) he can get his name on the Primary Ballot.

In 1968 when we go to the Primary and ask for a party ballot that fact will be so recorded. In 1970 we will have to take a ballot of that same party at the Primary, unless we have recorded a change of party with the County Clerk at least three months before the Primary. This is a CLOSED PRIMARY. It is the form of Primary used in the large majority of states. Some states require registration of party affiliation prior to the Primary. Others merely require the voter to ask for a ballot and allow challenge at that time by poll workers that the voter is not a "bona-fide" member of the party.

This type of Primary is generally favored by people who believe in a strong party system, It prevents voters not truly interested in building a good, sound party from "raiding'' and getting a weaker candidate on the opposing party ticket. Independent voters and those unwilling to declare their party must resign themselves to not voting in the Primary. The General Election has ONE BALLOT - and one can split his ticket.

Do you believe that by requiring registration or party affiliation we can look forward to stronger individual party support?

Nan Lowers

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