Report Title:

Voting Registration Deadline

 

Description:

Reduces deadline to register to vote from 30 days before an election to 5 working days.

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2256

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO ELECTIONS.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that current law imposing a deadline to register to vote of thirty days before any election may unintentionally impose a burdensome restriction on the right to vote. Voter interest in elections usually rises in the week before an election, corresponding with the usual acceleration of campaign efforts by candidates in the last week before an election. As a consequence of the thirty day period, fewer people actually vote than could have voted with a later deadline.

The legislature is cognizant of the administrative burden of processing voter registration lists before an election. The legislature believes that voter rights should not be sacrificed to administrative expediency. The legislature further finds that the thirty day period for primary, special primary, and special elections (enacted by Act 217, Session Laws of Hawaii 1973), and the thirty day period for general and special general elections (enacted by Act 106, Session Laws of Hawaii 1976) are obsolete and not in keeping with modern electronic technology.

The purpose of this Act is to reduce the thirty day deadline to five days working days to register to vote before an election.

SECTION 2. Section 11-24, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:

"(a) At 4:30 p.m. on the [thirtieth] fifth working day prior to each primary, special primary, or special election [(but if the day is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday then at 4:30 p.m. on the first working day immediately thereafter)], the general county register shall be closed to registration for persons seeking to vote at the primary, special primary, or special election and remain closed to registration until after the election, subject to change only as provided in sections 11-21(c), 11-22, 11-25, 11-26, and this section.

(b) Notwithstanding the closing of the register for registration to vote at the primary or special primary election, the register shall remain open for the registration of persons seeking to vote at the general or special general election, until 4:30 p.m. on the [thirtieth] fifth working day prior to the general or special general election [(but if the day is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday then at 4:30 p.m. on the first working day immediately thereafter)], at the end of which period the general county register shall be closed to registration and remain closed until after the general or special general election next following, subject to change only as provided in sections 11-21(c), 11-22, 11-25, and 11-26."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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