STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2015
RE: H.B. No. 1248
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 1248, H.D. 1, 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 establish elections by mail beginning with the 2022 primary election.
Additionally, this measure appropriates funds to the Office of Elections to administer elections by mail, and to the Department of Budget and Finance to allocate to the counties to implement voting by mail.
Your Committee held a public hearing on a Proposed Senate Draft 2 (Proposed S.D. 2).
The purpose of the Proposed S.D. 2 is to add a new part to the measure to require the Chief Election Officer to publish online voters' pamphlets for each election.
Additionally, the Proposed S.D. 2 appropriates funds to the Office of Elections to publish an online voters' pamphlet and publish and distribute notification postcards, starting with the 2020 primary election.
Your Committee received testimony in support of the Proposed S.D. 2 from the Office of Elections, Office of the County Clerk of the County of Maui, the Elections Division of the Office of the County Clerk of the County of Hawaii, Common Cause Hawaii, League of Women Voters of Hawaii, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, and three individuals.
Your Committee received testimony in opposition to the Proposed S.D. 2 from two individuals.
Your Committee finds that elections by mail are convenient and accessible to voters and will streamline the administration of elections. Additionally, an online voters' pamphlet will inform the electorate about the contests on the ballot.
Your Committee also notes that the Office of Elections requests $193,343 as the amount of the appropriation necessary to compile the pamphlet and publish and distribute the notification postcards.
Your Committee has amended this measure by adopting the Proposed S.D. 2 and further amending the Proposed S.D. 2 by:
(1) Making technical corrections to promote the consistent use of the terms "secrecy sleeve" and "voter service center, place of deposit, or its appurtenances" throughout the measure;
(2) Restoring the phrase "must be" in existing statutory language relating to the return and receipt of absentee ballots;
(3) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive changes for purposes of clarity, consistency, 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. 1248, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1248, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair