Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:     S.B. No. 560

        S.D. 2




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 S.B. No. 560, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to make updates to the elections process.


     Specifically, this measure:


     (1)  Requires, beginning with the 2022 primary election, that all elections to be conducted by mail, with some accommodations;


     (2)  Authorizes the electric transmission of ballots to and from voters in certain circumstances;


     (3)  Requires the establishment of voter service centers to receive the personal delivery of election ballots and provide other voting services;


     (4)  Establishes that when a tie occurs for a contested office, the result shall be determined by the drawing of lots;


     (5)  Makes appropriations for costs relating to conducting elections by mail; and


     (6)  Requires the Office of Elections to submit reports to the Legislature prior to the convening of each Regular Session from 2020 through 2025 regarding the Office's implementation of this measure.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Office of Elections; Disability and Communication Access Board; Office of the County Clerk, County of Hawaii; Office of the County Clerk, County of Maui; Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice; League of Women Voters of Hawaii; Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii; and three individuals.


     Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from one individual.


     Your Committee finds that an increasing number of voters in the State are choosing to submit their votes by mail or vote early.  Accordingly, your Committee believes that it is appropriate for the State to transition to a system that primarily utilizes voting by mail, which will reduce the cost of conducting elections while also increasing the efficiency and accuracy of vote tabulation.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Correcting a reference to Act 182, Session Laws of 2018;


     (2)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and


     (3)  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 S.B. No. 560, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 560, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,