STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1144
RE: S.B. No. 412
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 412, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO VOTING,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Require that any person who is eligible to vote and applies for a new or renewal motor vehicle driver's license, provisional license, or instruction permit, or a new, renewal, or duplicate identification card be automatically registered to vote unless the applicant affirmatively declines to be registered to vote; and
(2) Authorize access and electronic transmission of databases maintained or operated by the counties or the Department of Transportation containing driver's license or identification card information to election officials and the statewide voter registration system.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Elections; Department of Transportation; Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women; County Clerk of the County of Hawai‘i; Hawaiian Community Assets; Americans for Democratic Action; Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152, AFL-CIO; YPDA Hawai‘i; League of Women Voters of Hawaii; Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice; Sierra Club of Hawai‘i; Aloha State Association for the Deaf; American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i; Transform Hawai‘i Government; AVR Hawaii; O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Common Cause Hawaii; Young Progressives Demanding Action; and twenty-five individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Honolulu County Republican Party and six individuals.
Your Committees find that voter registration is a prerequisite to voter participation. Your Committees further find that automatic voter registration eliminates unnecessary barriers to voting caused by the time and effort needed for other registration methods. Your Committees additionally find that Hawaii has had the lowest voter turnout in the United States for the last twenty years. This measure will automatically register to vote any qualifying person who applies for a driver license or state identification card and ensure the accuracy of the voter registration rolls by electronically transmitting voter registration data between the driver license and identification card database and the statewide voter registration system.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that databases maintained or operated by the counties or Department of Transportation that are directly accessible and provided electronically to election officials and the statewide voter registration system may also be used for voter registration and election purposes; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 412, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 412, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair
KARL RHOADS, Chair