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Con - Con
Leaguers in the Community
Be an Election Official!
Voters Rights
Collective Bargaining: Differences in Private & Public Sectors
What is GRS?
We Hold Up Half the Sky!

Voters' Rights

The League of Women Voters of the United States lobbied successfully in Congress for extension of the Voting Rights Act. Compliance with the Act presents some problems for Hawaii.

Among the new provisions of the Act are requirements that certain states and political subdivisions conduct elections and registration in the language of certain "large minority groups" as well as English. That applies to registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance (including oral assistance, requiring translators at the polls and in county clerks' offices), and other materials relating to the electoral process.

The Act applies to any jurisdiction in which more than 5% of the citizens of voting age are members of a language minority, and the illiteracy rate is greater than the national rate. Hawaii is covered under the Act for the following groups:

State of Hawaii - Chinese and Filipino

Hawaii County - Filipino and Japanese

Honolulu County - Chinese and Filipino

Kauai County - Filipino and Japanese

Maui County - Filipino and Japanese

In Hawaii, there are three Filipino dialects (Tagalog, Ilocano, Visayan) and two Chinese dialects (Mandarin, Huaca). To comply completely we may have to put our information and ballots in dialects as well as primary languages.

There is a "bail out" provision in the Act which would allow a jurisdiction to challenge its inclusion in the Act and Lieutenant Governor Nelson Doi says he will apply this provision to get a court interpretation of how the Act applies to Hawaii. In the meantime Hawaii will have to comply fully with the Voting Rights Act and that will make our election process a very, very expensive one!

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