Your Views for August 19


Not so brilliant

Why did the state Office of Elections deny the right to vote to thousands of registered voters in Puna who were trapped by storm debris and unable to reach the polls?

Because it was easy — a poll had not been closed in Pahoa. Because it was there, on the statute books, decreed by the lawmakers in their wisdom for the particular failing for which the voters were judged and held guilty. Because it was there, offering no alternative, it must not be evaded.

The court’s discretionary power had been removed, and it claimed to have no alternative. Exercising choice, however, is one of the burdens of being human, serving in a position of responsibility and having a mind. Not to exercise it might be easier, but if unused it is likely to degenerate, which might be one of the reasons the Office of Elections’ performance in the last election was far less than brilliant.

William Spurlock

Pahoa

Racial tension

The nation’s eyes are on Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. I grew up in the west end of St. Louis. St. Louis is primarily divided up as the north side, where a majority of blacks live, and the south side, where the majority of the whites live. This divisiveness shows up in the mindset of its citizens.

In the attempt to try and explain how oppressive it is trying to cope in such an environment, I think it is best to say … you know how friendly and willing a majority of people are to “talk story,” including strangers, here Hawaii? That’s exactly how it is not in St. Louis.

Forgetting this on a return trip there after living here for years, I attempted to start a conversation with a white man — yes, I am black — and he completely ignored me.

I can never express how grateful I am that I no longer live in the State of Messier (Missouri), and so sorry that my “brothers and sisters” have to continually endure living inhumanly.

Lucky live Hawaii, I tell you.

Rebecca Marshall

Hilo

Vote early next time

Sitting leisurely in my favorite chair a couple of weeks ago was a good time to vote.

In this quiet, unrushed environ, I was able to mark my absentee ballot carefully and unrushed.

One day, elected officials will see that universal balloting by mail is a no-brainer. The postal letter carriers won’t let us down, and they practically guarantee prompt delivery as attested by their motto: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Next time, vote absentee. Avoid the hassles.

Don Bremer

Keaau

 

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