THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

13

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2008

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

requesting the CLERK OF EACH COUNTY to mail absentee ballots in a timely manner to promote informed voting.

 

 

 


     WHEREAS, in 2006, voter turnout in Hawaii plummeted to a new low of fifty-three per cent of registered voters; and

 

     WHEREAS, voting by absentee ballot is becoming increasingly popular, with thirty-four per cent of the voter turnout comprised of absentee voters either by walk-in or mail; and

 

     WHEREAS, in the interest of bolstering the electoral process, the absentee voting process should be convenient and should promote informed voting; and

 

     WHEREAS, the absentee ballot should be delivered to each absentee voter at the appropriate time to allow the voter time to research and receive information on all the candidates and ballot questions; and

 

     WHEREAS, in recent elections, absentee ballots have been delivered more than one month before the election, which may be too early to allow voters to access important information that may become available closer to the date of the elections; and

 

     WHEREAS, when absentee voters receive their ballots too early, there is a chance that the ballots may be set aside for a long period of time, thereby increasing the chance that it will be misplaced or forgotten; and

 

     WHEREAS, when absentee voters cast their ballot far in advance of the election, those voters may be voting based on a different set of information than those who vote closer to the election or on the day of the election; and

 

     WHEREAS, absentee voters who are traveling or otherwise out of State may need their ballots a month early, but those in State may need it only ten days before; and

 

     WHEREAS, absentee voters should be able to choose when they receive their ballots so that they may have the appropriate amount of time to be a more informed voter; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, the House of Representatives concurring, that the respective clerks of each county are requested to revise the absentee ballot request forms to allow absentee voters to choose the timing of the mailing of their ballot, whether early (such as thirty days prior to election day) or closer to the elections (such as ten days prior to election day); and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of each county is requested to include a return postage prepaid envelope with each ballot mailed to an absentee voter, such that the mailed distribution and return of absentee ballots shall be at no cost to the voter; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Clerk of each county of the State and the Chief Election Officer.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title: 

Absentee Ballots; Time of Mailing