HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2016
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO ABSENTEE BALLOTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. Section 15-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:
""Electronic transmission" means the transmission of a blank or voted ballot by facsimile, electronic mail delivery, or the utilization of an online absentee ballot delivery and return system, which may include the ability to mark the ballot."
SECTION 2. Section 15-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (e) to read as follows:
"(e) When a registered voter requests an absentee ballot, the voter also may include an additional request to receive absentee ballots permanently. After receiving a request for permanent absentee voter status, the clerk shall mail to the voter who requested permanent absentee voter status an absentee ballot for all subsequent elections conducted in that precinct. The forwarding address for absentee ballots to be permanently mailed shall be the in-state mailing address contained in the voter's registration record. Voters who seek to have ballots forwarded to another address shall apply for an absentee ballot under subsection (a). Permanent absentee voters may request under subsection (a) that their ballots be forwarded to another address either in or outside of the State for a single election or for a primary or special primary election and the election immediately following the primary or special primary election. A permanent absentee voter's request for a ballot to be forwarded temporarily under subsection (a) will not serve as a cancellation of the voter's permanent absentee status or as a change to the voter's permanent absentee mailing address. Upon the completion of the election or elections covered by the permanent absentee voter's request under subsection (a), the voter's permanent absentee mailing address on file with election officials will resume as the address to which the voter's ballots will be mailed permanently."
SECTION 3. Section 15-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (h) to read as follows:
"(h) A voter's permanent absentee voter status, unless the voter resides in an area in which only absentee ballots may be cast, shall be terminated if any of the following conditions apply:
(1) The voter requests in writing that such status be terminated;
(2) The voter dies, loses voting rights, registers to vote in another jurisdiction, or is otherwise disqualified from voting;
(3) The voter's absentee ballot, voter notification postcard, or any other election mail is returned to the clerk as undeliverable for any reason; or
(4) The voter does not return a voter ballot by 6:00 p.m. on election day in both the primary and general election of an election year."
SECTION 4. Section 15-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:
"(b) If [
absentee ballots or ballots requested under section 15-4, are not
received by [ the] a voter within five days of an election, or
a voter requires a replacement ballot within five days of an election, or a
voter would otherwise not be able to return their properly issued ballot by the
close of polls, then a [ covered] voter [ under chapter 15D]
may request that absentee ballots be forwarded by [ facsimile.] electronic
transmission. Upon receipt of such a request and confirmation that proper
application was made, the clerk may transmit appropriate ballots [ by
facsimile], together with a form requiring the affirmations and
information required by section 15-6, and a form containing a waiver of the
right to secrecy, as provided by section 11-137. The voter may return the
voted ballots and executed forms by [ facsimile] electronic
transmission or mail; provided that they are received by the issuing clerk
no later than the close of polls on election day. Upon receipt, the clerk
shall verify compliance with the requirements of section 15-9(c)[ ,] and
prepare the ballots for counting pursuant to section 15-10[ .];
provided that if the voter returns multiple voted absentee ballots for the same
election, the clerk shall prepare, for counting, only the first absentee ballot
returned that is not spoiled."
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2030.
Office of Elections Package; Absentee Ballots; Electronic Transmission
Allows a permanent absentee voter to receive ballots at an alternate address for elections within an election cycle. Clarifies that certain conditions that normally lead to a termination of permanent absentee voter status do not apply if the voter resides in an absentee voter only area. Replaces references to facsimile ballots with references to electronic ballots. Allows a voter to receive an absentee ballot by electronic transmission if the voter requires such a ballot within five days of an election, or the voter would otherwise not be able to return their properly issued ballot by the close of polls. (HB1654 HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.