The Write to Vote
By the time you read this, you will have already voted (or not voted). And, like many, you may wonder why there weren’t any blank spaces for write-in votes on the ballot. It’s a question that came up a lot this year, perhaps not surprising considering the high level of voter dissatisfaction.
The answer is simple: Hawaii doesn’t allow write-in votes. And, according to a 1992 Supreme Court decision, it doesn’t have to. In 1986, a man named Alan Burdick mounted a legal challenge against Hawaii’s no-write-in policy. Six years later, in Burdick v. Takushi, the high court ruled that the lack of a write-in option doesn’t violate the Constitution.
Not everyone agreed. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that banning write-in votes “imposes on the right of voters…to vote for the candidate of their choice” and leaves some with “no way to cast a meaningful vote.” Further, Kennedy noted, the “petitioner’s dilemma is a recurring, frequent phenomenon in Hawaii because of the state’s ballot access rules and the circumstance that one party, the Democratic Party, is predominant.” Eighteen years later, that certainly hasn’t changed.
Surfing Loses a Legend, Hawaii Loses a Son
The surfing world was rocked this week by the loss of Hawaii-born pro Andy Irons, a generational talent and one of Kauai’s favorite sons.
According to a release from Jodi Wilmott of the Vans Triple Crown, Irons was suffering from Dengue fever and, after pulling out of an event in Puerto Rico, died during a layover in Texas on a return trip to the Garden Isle. He was 32.
Irons won three consecutive world titles between 2002 and 2004 along with numerous other awards and events—most recently the Billabong Pro Tahiti earlier this year—and established a friendly but fierce rivalry with fellow icon Kelly Slater.
Irons is survived by his brother Bruce Irons, also a pro surfer, and his pregnant wife.
Dog Park Rules
Up For Discussion
If you have a dog, chances are you have an opinion about Maui’s dog parks. If so, mark your calendar: on Thursday, November 18 the Parks and Recreation Department will hold a public hearing concerning draft regulations for the County’s pooch playgrounds. The meeting will begin at 11am at the Waikapu Community Center. (Yes, late morning on a weekday—don’t tell us, tell the County.)
Before you go, you can read the draft rules at co.maui.hi.us or call 270-8061 for more info.
More than 6,000 people get cancer every year in Hawaii and another 2,000-plus die from the disease. That’s according to Hawai‘i Cancer Facts & Figures 2010, a report released last week by the Hawaii Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition (HCCCC) and the state Department of Health (DOH).
Native Hawaiians and Caucasians have the highest cancer diagnosis and mortality rates, while the lowest rates were found among Chinese and Filipino females. Overall, cancer is Hawaii’s second-leading cause of death.
In addition to the report, HCCCC also released an action plan aimed at increasing early detection and improving care statewide. “Everyone in Hawaii, at some point, will be touched by cancer, whether it is their own personal struggle or supporting and caring for loved ones,” said DOH director Chiyome Fukino. Fukino said survival rates are on the rise, but added that “there is still much to be done.” To learn more, visit hawaii.gov/health. ■
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