STAND. COM. REP. NO. 240
RE: H.B. No. 401
Honorable Joseph M. Souki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2015
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 401 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO VOTING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to make voter registration automatic upon an application for a new or renewed driver's license, instructional permit, provisional license, or civil identification card.
Your Committee received testimony in support of the measure with suggested alternative language from the Office of Elections, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause Hawaii, and the Center for Popular Democracy.
Your Committee received technical comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General.
Your Committee finds that voter registration and participation are important components of a healthy democracy and that steps should be taken to maximize registration and participation. However, your Committee also finds that despite the beneficial intent of this measure, as received, it does not comply with the federal National Voter Registration Act because it does not offer applicants the option to decline to register to vote.
Your Committee has amended the measure by:
(1) Making voter registration affidavits a part of the application associated with the issuance of civil identification cards or driver's licenses;
(2) Requiring applicants to either clearly decline to register to vote or complete the voter affidavit before the application can be processed;
(3) Making conforming amendments to sections 286-109, 286-301, and 286-311, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and
(4) Making technical amendments for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 401, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 401, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair