Local Connection: House Bill 321

By: Rick Blangiardi

The state Office of Elections doesn't exactly enjoy the greatest reputation.

You will recall that during last year's primary election, 13 Big Island polling places opened late.

And on Oahu, 17 percent of our polling places had ballot shortages during the Nov. 6 election. Investigations commenced and some elections officials lost their jobs.

That doesn't inspire confidence in an electorate that already ranks at or near the bottom of the list in voter turnout.

But give credit to where it is due to some state legislators who want to make it enticing to get voters to the polls by allowing eligible voters to register to vote on election day.

As it stands, registration must be completed at least 30 days before the election but House bill 321 aims to change that.

Another proposal from Gov. Abercrombie is that we change to a mail-in ballot system.

All of these efforts should be applauded as methods to help us do better when it comes to a state that casts less than half of eligible ballots.

The system we have now is not working. Let's try something that does.

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