STAND. COM. REP. NO. 411
RE: S.B. No. 412
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Transportation, to which was referred S.B. No. 412 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO VOTING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Make voter registration automatic upon an application for a new or renewed driver's license, provisional license, instructional permit, or identification card, unless the applicant declines to be registered; and
(2) Authorize access to and electronic transmission of databases maintained by the counties or Department of Transportation to election officials and the statewide voter registration system.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Transportation; Office of Elections; League of Women Voters; LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Sierra Club of Hawai‘i; Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152, AFL-CIO; Hawai‘i Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations; Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice; We Are One, Inc.; Young Progressives Demanding Action; O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; ‘Ai Pohaku; sixty-seven individuals; and a form letter from thirty-seven individuals.
Your Committee finds that voter registration and participation are important components of a healthy democracy and steps should be taken to maximize registration and participation. Your Committee further finds that Hawaii has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the nation. The State has made efforts to simplify registration procedures by allowing residents to register on the same day as the election. However, despite these efforts, voter participation remains low. Your Committee believes that this measure will eliminate barriers to voting and improve voter turnout by increasing opportunities for residents of Hawaii to register to vote.
Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Transportation that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 412, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 412, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Transportation,
LORRAINE R. INOUYE, Chair