The Hawaii state legislature has ratified the D.C. voting rights amendment, becoming the ninth sate to approve the constitutional measure.
Final action came in a 38-to-10 vote by the Hawaii House of Representatives late Thursday (3:30 a.m. Friday, Washington time). The Hawaii Senate had approved the measure April 1 by a 20-to-3 vote.
The amendment, if approved by 38 of the 50 states, would give the District of Columbia two senators and one or two representatives in Congress. The District now has one non-voting delegate in the House.
With Hawaii, nine state legislatures have approved the amendment. Four have defeated it or passed negative resolutions in both houses. Eight others have turned it down in one house or the other. Legislatures have until August 1985 to act on the proposal.
A spokesman for Self-Determination for D.C., a coalition of groups supporting ratification here, yesterday praised the Hawaii vote as a "big victory."
In Hawaii, Carol Whitesell of the state League of Women Voters said the overwhelming vote was "reflective of a state that had too long struggled for the right of self-government and full participation in national affairs itself. Clearly, the American people in Hawaii are sympathetic to the plight of District residents."
Meanwhile, Republican presidential contender Ronald Reagan came out against the District voting rights amendment. At a rally in San Antonio, Tex., yesterday, he said he was "very doubtful about awarding them two senators to represent what is still not a state."
If D.C. residents "feel deprived," Reagan suggested that the District except for "actual government structures," be returned to the state of Maryland.
Asked if Reagan's opposition to full voting rights here could harm his standing in the District's May 6 presidential primary, Reagan's local campaign coordinator, Clarence McKee, said he believes D.C. voters have larger issues on their minds.
"I'm sure the issues of the economy weigh more heavily . . ." McKee said. "I think when you're standing in the unemployment line, one of the last concerns you have is whether you can vote for a senator."