STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1550
RE: H.B. No. 124
Honorable Donna Mercado Kim
President of the Senate
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2015
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 124, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ELECTIONS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require all-mail elections to be phased in across the State over three election cycles.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Office of Elections, the Hawaii County Clerk, the Kauai County Clerk, the Disability and Communication Access Board, the League of Women Voters, and five individuals. Written comments in opposition to this measure were received from Common Cause Hawaii. Written comments on this measure were received from the Maui County Clerk, the City and County of Honolulu County Clerk, and one individual.
Your Committee finds that the administration of elections will be streamlined if all balloting is conducted by mail.
Your Committee notes that costs may be incurred in implementing this measure, among which include an estimated $50,000 for each year of the 2015-2017 fiscal biennium for a high-speed scanner sorter and materials.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Adopting the several amendments proposed by the Office of Elections to successfully implement all-mail elections by addressing various operational issues, including:
(A) Amending, rather than repealing, section 11-91.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), on federal, state, and county elections by mail;
(B) Adding language to the new part added to chapter 11, HRS, on procedures for conducting elections by mail, to authorize electronic transmission of ballots for voters who do not receive their mail ballot in a timely manner and do not have time to obtain a replacement ballot and adding a conforming amendment to section 15-5, HRS, to address the time period for counties that have not migrated to all-mail elections;
(C) Adding language to the amendments to sections 11-92.1 and 11-92.3, HRS, relating to election proclamations and responses to natural disasters, to address the implementation of all-mail elections while simultaneously operating the current system of elections;
(D) Restoring the language of section 11-184, HRS, to address the division of costs and responsibilities between the State and counties for elections that are not all-mail;
(E) Adding a new section to chapter 11, HRS, to address the division of costs and responsibilities between the State and counties for all-mail elections; and
(F) Adding a new section to chapter 11, HRS, to provide the State with electronic access to voter registration applications and signatures maintained by the counties; and
(2) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 124, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 124, H.D. 2, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair