Voters urged to research little known charter questions - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Voters urged to research little known charter questions

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Voters will be asked to decide on an appointed school board and forming a transit authority for the rail but there are plenty of other important questions on this ballot that could trip up voters if they don't do some research.

Undoubtedly some voters will step into the voting booth and get to the point on the ballot where the charter questions are and think, what does that mean?

"Unfortunately I was negligent and not really taken the time to get the information before I came here," said Marian Kaneta, voter.

That's one reason why city charter question number four didn't make much since.  It asks, "Shall the revised charter of the City and County of Honolulu be amended to remedy language inconsistencies and to clarify the provisions of the ordinances by initiative Power, Article III, Chapter 4, and to make conforming amendments to other sections of the charter?"

"I think some of the questions are maybe a little bit difficult to understand the language is not that clear," said Pekka Ahoniemi, voter.

Don't feel bad, even Hawaii News Now Political Analyst Dan Boylan didn't know about question four.

"I don't understand that.  I have no idea, haven't got a clue and I'm a political analyst," said Boylan.  "On these ballot issues people don't know and frankly they don't care on most of them."

That is too bad because some of the questions are talking about tax rebates, creating an office of housing and conflicts of interest and a blank vote counts as a no vote.

"They may in fact have a very good intent but letting the people know about it that's difficult," said Boylan.

"I would imagine most people don't do any research or even know they're on the ballot," said Bob Frame, voter

"I just read it and, if I think it's right, I vote yes," said Ellen A. Lesser, voter.

"I don't think the average voter will read all the details anyway but they'll maybe vote because like me, I just thought there must be something wrong and they want to fix it," said Melvin Choy, voter.

So what's the advice from those that have voted early?

"Oh get this little brochure and read it thoroughly and then ask questions definitely," said Kaneta.

If you are interested in one of those pamphlets she was referring to with all the fine print they are available at polling places.  There are also links on this page under the "News Links" section with more information on the state's constitutional amendments and the charter amendments in all four counties.

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