THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2232

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2018

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO VOTING.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that automatic voter registration provides eligible voters an opportunity to register to vote or update their voter registration information when applying for or renewing a driver's license unless the eligible voter affirmatively declines to be registered. As of August 2017, nine states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia have authorized automatic voter registration.

Proponents believe that automatic voter registration assists in removing barriers to registration for eligible voters, which is the first step to voter participation. Voter registration through a routine and necessary transaction, such as driver's licensing, increases the efficiency and effectiveness of voter registration and voter turnout.

The legislature further finds that in August 2017, the office of elections and department of transportation entered into a memorandum of agreement allowing the office of elections to access the driver license and state identification databases, administered by the department of transportation and maintained by the city and county of Honolulu, to ensure the integrity of voter registration rolls.

The purpose of this Act is to establish an automatic voter registration system in Hawaii by allowing all applicants for a driver's license, provisional license, instruction permit, or civil identification card to clearly decline to register to vote or to fill out the voter affidavit on their application at the time their application is processed.

SECTION 2. Chapter 11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new sections to part II to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"11-A Automatic registration. (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, an affidavit on an application for voter registration shall be a part of the application associated with the issuance of a driver's license, provisional license, or instruction permit under section 286-109 and an identification card under section 286-301. Each application shall include a space to request a permanent absentee ballot.

(b) An applicant for a driver's license, provisional license, instruction permit, or identification card may elect to register to vote or update voter registration information. Applications shall not be processed until the applicant:

(1) Clearly indicates on the application that the applicant declines to register to vote, including for reasons of ineligibility to vote; or

(2) Completes the portion of the application related to voter registration.

Unless an applicant affirmatively declines to register to vote, the submission of the application shall be deemed to authorize the examiner of drivers to collect and transmit the information necessary to register the applicant as a voter or update the applicant's voter registration information. The examiner of drivers shall electronically transmit the necessary information to the clerk of the county in which the applicant resides, election officials, and the statewide voter registration system pursuant to subsection (d); provided that the examiner of drivers shall not transmit any information necessary to register an applicant as a voter if that applicant affirmatively declines to be registered to vote.

(c) Upon receipt of the completed voter registration application transmitted from the examiner of drivers, the clerk shall:

(1) Review and either approve or reject the voter registration application; or

(2) Update the applicant's voter registration information;

in accordance with this part; provided that approved voter registration applications received from the examiner of drivers pursuant to this section shall be treated as having a valid signature for purposes of section 11‑15(c) whether transmitted electronically or by facsimile transmission. Upon approval of the voter registration application, the clerk shall proceed to number the application and register the name of the voter in the general county register as provided in section 11‑14.

(d) Databases maintained or operated by the counties or the department of transportation containing driver's license, provisional license, instruction permit, or identification card information, including any documents or images, shall be directly accessible and provided electronically to election officials and the statewide voter registration system to allow for the timely processing of voter registration applications, ensure the integrity of the voter registration rolls, and for any other government purpose, as determined by the director of transportation, and upon request by the chief election officer to the director of transportation for the electronic transmission of the information.

(e) Unless an ineligible applicant willfully and knowingly completes the portion of the application related to voter registration despite knowing that the applicant is not eligible to vote, the record and signature of an ineligible applicant that is transmitted electronically or by facsimile transmission by an examiner of drivers to a clerk shall not constitute a violation of section 19-3.5. The name of any ineligible applicant that is incorrectly registered in the general county register because the ineligible applicant completed the portion of the application related to voter registration shall be removed from the register pursuant to section 11-23.

(f) The chief election officer shall submit an annual public report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session of the legislature. The report shall include:

(1) The number of records transferred pursuant to this section;

(2) The number of voters added to the statewide voter registration system because of records transferred pursuant to this section;

(3) The number of voters in the statewide voter registration system whose information was updated because of records transferred pursuant to this section;

(4) The number of records transferred pursuant to this section that do not relate to individuals affirmatively identified as eligible to vote;

(5) The number of persons who opted out of voter registration pursuant to this section;

(6) The number of voters who updated or corrected voter registration information through the electronic system established pursuant to section 11-15.3, and the type of information updated or corrected; and

(7) Information on the implementation of security and privacy protocols.

Any report produced pursuant to this subsection shall exclude any personal identifying information.

11-B Information privacy policy. (a) The chief election officer shall establish and implement an information privacy policy that:

(1) Specifies each class of internal users who shall have authorized access to the statewide voter registration system, specifies for each class the permissions and levels of access to be granted, and sets forth other safeguards to protect the privacy of the information on the statewide voter registration system;

(2) Prohibits any disclosure or transmission of any information not necessary to voter registration, including credit card information received in the course of the underlying transaction with the examiner of drivers of each county;

(3) Protects against public disclosure of full or partial social security numbers, driver's license numbers, and signatures;

(4) Prohibits public disclosure of an individual's decision not to register to vote;

(5) Prohibits the examiner of drivers of each county from transmitting to county clerks information other than that required for voter registration or specified information relevant to the administration of elections;

(6) Prohibits agencies from sharing individuals' citizenship status or information regarding country of origin with any federal agency; and

(7) Prohibits the disclosure of information relating to persons eligible for confidentiality of record information pursuant to section 11-14.5 and informs individuals of the confidentiality protections available under section 11-14.5.

(b) The chief election officer shall publish, and update as necessary, the information privacy policy established in subsection (a) by:

(1) Electronic publication on the electronic system established pursuant to section 11-15.3; and

(2) Online publication on the official website of the office of elections.

Upon request, the chief election officer shall make the information privacy policy available by mail or in person."

SECTION 3. Chapter 286, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part VI to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"286-A Voter registration. (a) An applicant for a new or renewed motor vehicle driver's license, provisional license, or instruction permit shall automatically be registered to vote or shall have the applicant's voter registration information automatically updated with the clerk of the appropriate county upon completion of an application for a driver's license, provisional license, or instruction permit as required in section 11-A unless the applicant affirmatively declines, on the application form, to be registered to vote.

(b) Unless an applicant affirmatively declines to register to vote, the submission of the application shall be deemed to authorize the examiner of drivers to collect and transmit the information necessary to register the applicant as a voter or update the applicant's voter registration information. The examiner of drivers shall electronically transmit the necessary information to the clerk of the county in which the applicant resides, election officials, and the statewide voter registration system pursuant to section 11‑A(d); provided that the examiner of drivers shall not transmit any information necessary to register an applicant as a voter if that applicant affirmatively declines to register to vote."

SECTION 4. Chapter 286, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part XVI to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"286-B Voter registration. (a) An applicant for a new, renewed, or duplicate identification card shall automatically be registered to vote or shall have the applicant's voter registration information automatically updated with the clerk of the appropriate county upon completion of an application for an identification card as required by section 11-A unless the applicant affirmatively declines, on the application form, to be registered to vote.

(b) Unless an applicant affirmatively declines to register to vote, the submission of the application shall be deemed to authorize the examiner of drivers to collect and transmit the information necessary to register the applicant as a voter or update the applicant's voter registration information. The examiner of drivers shall electronically transmit the necessary information to the clerk of the county in which the applicant resides, election officials, and the statewide voter registration system pursuant to section 11‑A(d); provided that the examiner of drivers shall not transmit any information necessary to register an applicant as a voter if that applicant affirmatively declines to register to vote."

SECTION 5. Section 11-15.3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (e) to read as follows:

"(e) The online application system may require additional information from applicants, such as security questions to authenticate any future voter registration transactions by the applicant. The system shall provide a voter, who was registered to vote or whose voter registration information was updated pursuant to section 11-A, the means to verify the voter's registration information, update relevant information, and withdraw the voter's registration."

SECTION 6. Section 286-108, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Except as provided in section 286-107.5(a), the examiner of drivers shall examine every applicant for a driver's license, except as otherwise provided in this part. The examination shall include a test of:

(1) The applicant's eyesight and any further physical examination that the examiner of drivers finds necessary to determine the applicant's fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely upon the highways;

(2) The applicant's ability to understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic;

(3) The applicant's knowledge of the rules of the road based on the traffic laws of the State and the traffic ordinances of the county where the applicant resides or intends to operate a motor vehicle; provided that the examination shall specifically test the applicant's knowledge of the provisions of section 291C-121.5 and section 291C-137; and

(4) The actual demonstration of ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle.

The examinations shall be appropriate to the operation of the category of motor vehicle for which the applicant seeks to be licensed and shall be conducted as required by the director.

The examiner of drivers shall require every applicant to comply with section 286-102.5.

The examiner of drivers may waive the actual demonstration of ability to operate a motorcycle or motor scooter for any person who furnishes evidence, to the satisfaction of the examiner of drivers, that the person has completed the motorcycle education course approved by the director in accordance with section 431:10G-104.

[At the time of examination, an application for voter registration by mail shall be made available to every applicant for a driver's license.]

For the purposes of this section, the term "applicant" does not include any person reactivating a license under section 286‑107.5(a)."

SECTION 7. Section 286-109, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"286-109 General provision governing the issuance of licenses. (a) Upon payment of the required fee and upon demonstrating the ability to operate a certain category or categories of motor vehicles to the satisfaction of the examiner of drivers, an applicant for a driver's license shall be issued a single license of a design approved by the director of transportation upon which is made a notation of:

(1) The category or categories of motor vehicles the applicant may operate;

(2) Any restrictive provisions to which the license is subject;

(3) Veteran status, if desired by the applicant; provided that the notation shall be on the front of the license and shall not include any designation other than the term "veteran"; and

(4) When the license is issued to a person under twenty-one years of age, a statement, in clearly legible print that shall contrast with the other information appearing on the license, which indicates the date on which the person will attain the age of twenty-one years.

As used in this subsection, "veteran" means any person who served in any of the uniformed services of the United States, including veterans of the Korean conflict and persons who served in the armed forces of the Republic of Korea, who fought under the command of the United Nations led by the United States, during the Korean conflict and are currently United States citizens, and was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

(b) The examiner of drivers shall not issue or renew any driver's license using the driver's social security number on the driver's license.

(c) Statutes of limitations and other provisions of this chapter notwithstanding, no driver's license or instruction permit shall be issued or renewed under this section, where the examiner of drivers is notified by the district judge, traffic violations bureaus of the district courts, or the judge of the circuit court that the applicant has failed to respond to a traffic citation or summons, or failed to appear in court after an arrest for the violation of any traffic laws of a county, this chapter or chapter 286G, 287, 290, 291, or 291C, or of any motor vehicle insurance laws under article 10C of chapter 431, or of any motorcycle or motor scooter insurance laws under article 10G of chapter 431, and the same remains delinquent and outstanding, or the applicant, has as of the time of the application, failed to comply in full with all orders of the court; provided that the district court with whose order an applicant has failed to comply in full, may approve the issuance or renewal of a driver's license or instruction permit other than a commercial driver's license upon conditions imposed by the court for the satisfaction of the outstanding court order and any other conditions as may be imposed by the court, if one or more of the following conditions are met:

(1) The applicant is gainfully employed in a position that requires driving and will be discharged if the applicant is unable to drive; or

(2) The applicant has no access to alternative transportation and therefore must drive to work;

provided further that if the applicant has failed to comply in full with orders of the district court of more than one circuit, the applicant shall obtain the approval of the district court of each circuit in which the applicant has an outstanding court order before a driver's license or instruction permit may be issued or renewed under this subsection.

A driver's license or instruction permit issued or renewed under this subsection shall be subject to immediate suspension by the court upon the applicant's failure to remain in full compliance with all conditions imposed by the court for the issuance or renewal of the driver's license or instruction permit. The examiner of drivers may place an indication of restriction upon a driver's license or instruction permit issued or renewed under this subsection. Proof of financial responsibility under section 287-20 shall not apply to the issuance or renewal of driver's licenses or instruction permits under this subsection.

(d) An application for a driver's license shall include the information required under section 11-A."

SECTION 8. Section 286-301, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]286-301[]] Issuance of identification card or temporary card. (a) To obtain an identification card from the examiner of drivers, an individual shall complete an application pursuant to section 286-303.

(b) The examiner of drivers, upon receipt of the application by any individual who is a resident or a temporary resident of this State, shall issue an identification card to that individual upon receipt of any appropriate fee established pursuant to section 286-309.

(c) The identification card shall be similar in size, shape, and design to a driver's license, but shall not entitle the individual to whom it is issued to operate a motor vehicle.

(d) The issuance of an identification card pursuant to this section shall not place upon the State of Hawaii or any agency any liability for the misuse or the acceptance of the identification card as valid identification, which shall be left entirely to the discretion of any individual to whom such card is presented.

(e) An application for an identification card from the examiner of drivers shall include the information required under section 11-A."

SECTION 9. Section 286-311, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending its title and subsection (a) to read as follows:

"[[]286-311[]] Custody and use of records; confidential information. (a) [All] Except for purposes of sections 286-A and 286-B, information and records acquired by the examiner of drivers under this part shall be confidential. All information and records shall be maintained in an appropriate form and in an appropriate office in the custody and under the control of the examiner. The information shall be available only to authorized individuals under such restrictions as the director shall prescribe. The examiner may dispose of any application or identification card, or information or record relating to the application or identification card, which does not include a social security number, without regard to chapter 94, whenever, in the examiner's discretion, retention of the information or record is no longer required or practicable."

SECTION 10. The chief election officer shall review current privacy and security measures applied to the existing electronic voter registration files and establish enhanced standards and procedures to further safeguard the privacy, integrity, and security of the information collected and transmitted pursuant to this Act.

SECTION 11. In codifying the new sections added by sections 1, 2, and 3 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 12. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 13. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Automatic Voter Registration

 

Description:

Establishes an automatic voter registration system in Hawaii by allowing all applicants for a driver's license, provisional license, instruction permit, or civil identification card to either clearly decline to register to vote or fill out the voter affidavit on their application at the time their application is processed.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.