STAND. COM. REP. NO. 417
RE: S.B. No. 958
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 958 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ELECTIONS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Require the Chief Election Officer, with assistance from the county clerks for elections involving county offices and countywide ballot issues, to publish and distribute a voters' pamphlet; and
(2) Appropriate monies to allow the Chief Elections Officer to produce and distribute a voters' pamphlet for each election.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the League of Women Voters of Hawaii, one member of the Maui County Council, and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of Elections.
Your Committee finds that all states make an effort to inform the electorate about upcoming elections, where and when the elections will be held, and how to cast a vote. Your Committee further finds that some states publish and distribute voters' pamphlets to registered voters that contain valuable information such as candidate information, judicial performance reviews, descriptions of elected offices, or background information on constitutional amendments or ballot measures. Your Committee additionally finds that, although this information is useful to voters, the costs of producing and distributing physical pamphlets are prohibitive. Publishing the voters' pamphlet online and distributing postcards informing voters of the pamphlet's website address is an effective and efficient way to provide voters with this resource.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Requiring the Chief Election Officer to post the voters' pamphlet on the Office of Elections' public website instead of distributing physical copies of the pamphlet;
(2) Requiring the Chief Election Officer to distribute postcards notifying voters of the website address of the online voters' pamphlet; and
(3) 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 Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 958, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 958, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair