Finding Voters’ Real Top Choice

We need a new way to count votes

In the Democratic Party primary Josh Green won the lieutenant governor nomination with less than a third of the votes and Ed Case got the nomination for Congress with barely more than that. Without passing judgment on these candidates, we can speculate that either might not have won had there not been so many candidates splitting the votes in each race.

A solution to this problem is to adopt ranked-choice voting, also known as instant run-off voting. This system lets people rank all the candidates in a race from favorite to least preferred.

RCV could also be applied to the general election, allowing people to vote for whoever they like first while knowing that their ranked votes would still help determine the top two vote-getters.

— Aaron Isgar, Hawaii Kai

Democrat Dominance

With one party always in charge, Hawaii lacks transparency

Re: Chad Blair’s Aug. 12 item on Democrat dominance: I have been lucky enough to have lived in Hawaii for the last 39 years of my 68 years on this planet. 

At age 24 I fell in love with the people, the weather (I was born and raised in Maine — brrrr), the food and the beautiful land (note I didn’t say aina, not because it isn’t a beautiful word but because I will not appropriate another’s culture).

But one thing I am definitely not in love with is our one-party system since 1954. As Randy Roth has written, the direct result of this is lack of transparency and lack of accountability. How can that be good?

Trump has poisoned the Republican Party (although it appears their leaders have drunk the Kool-Aid willingly).

We need a viable two-party system in our very fair state. Does anyone agree with me?     

— Mark Stitham, Kailua

Wanted: Informed Citizenry

Maybe the low turnout shows statehood was a bad idea

Had any U.S. president or Congress realized that the most powerful weaponry in the American arsenal should have been a decently educated (not tertiary necessarily), well-informed (not enabled and entitled), and always-voting citizenry (mainland low; Hawaii lowest — “The Primary Turnout Was Low — But Not As Low As 2016,” Aug. 12)?

I keep wondering whether statehood was a good fit.

President Johnson’s Civil Rights Act of 1964 removed mandatory ROTC from all schools, and President Carter set up the initial DOE as a payback to the teachers’ union, the National Education Association.

Then we had that bipartisan lunacy No Child Left Behind that bureaucrats loved, but teachers thought crud.

If the incumbent governor can get past Rep. Andria Tupola, he should start to do a draconian redesign of Hawaii’s public school system by using the ideas of those who had different ways of looking at the same old problems that continue to keep our schools No. 39 ranked out of 51 (D.C. added) by WalletHub in a nation that almost bottomed out at No. 49 during “local boy’s” terms.

— Peter Tali Coleman Jr., Makiki

Quit Registering Sex Offenders

It amounts to a life sentence for one class of criminals

After reading the insightful post Aug. 9 by Nicholas Chagno and David T. Johnson titled Sense And Nonsense About Sex Offender Registries and the subsequent response Aug. 13 by Karen Rich, I flashed back to the day I defended the demise of said mandated registration on my path to earning my master’s in social work at the University of Minnesota.

In “SW 5111 Contemp Pol, Progs,” one class assignment engaged the art of formal debates. I advocated for formal sunset of all statutes related to mandatory registration for sexual offenders.

My arguments? 1) Identify one other crime we require similar registries. Fact: No other crimes require mandated offender registries. 2) If said sentencing statutes remain in place society effectively sentences sexual offenders to serve a lifetime sentence.

Non-sexual offense criminals may “start new” one day based on the ability to blend in to a new location. Sexual offenders have no such blending option based on mandated registration requirements. Time now to address how families create and support sexual offenders.  Accordingly, I bow in gratitude to Chagno and Johnson for pointing out the absolute futility of perpetuating what Rich defends.

— Soul Dancer, Makiki

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