STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1063
RE: S.B. No. 551
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Government Reform, to which was referred S.B. No. 551, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE II, SECTION 1, OF THE HAWAII STATE CONSTITUTION TO CHANGE THE AGE QUALIFICATION FOR VOTING IN STATE OR LOCAL ELECTIONS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to propose an amendment to the Hawaii State Constitution to allow citizens who are seventeen years of age but will be eighteen years of age on or before the next state or local general election to vote at the state or local primary election immediately preceding the state or local general election by which the citizen will attain the age of eighteen and any intervening or co-occurring special election.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Young Progressives Demanding Action, Ke One O Kāhuhihewa, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from Common Cause Hawaii and Vote16HI.
Your Committee finds that the age qualification to vote in any federal, state, or local election is eighteen years of age. However, for those individuals whose eighteenth birthday falls between a primary and general election, the current age restriction effectively prevents them from participating in state and local primary elections. Your Committee believes that providing these individuals with the ability to vote in the primary elections and any intervening or co-occurring special election immediately preceding the general election will give young individuals the opportunity to vote while still in high school, which will encourage greater civic engagement, voter turnout, and voter participation amongst the State's youth.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2060, to encourage further discussion; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
Should your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs hear this measure, your Committee respectfully requests that it consider allowing an individual who is sixteen years of age but will be eighteen years of age on or before the next state or local general election to register and vote at the primary election and any intervening or co-occurring special election before the general election.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Government Reform that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 551, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 551, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Government Reform,
ANGUS L.K. McKELVEY, Chair