STAND. COM. REP. NO. 703
RE: S.B. No. 551
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 551 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 and intent of this measure is to propose a constitutional amendment to allow individuals 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.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the League of Women Voters, Young Progressives Demanding Action, Pono Hawai‘i Initiative, and seven individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General, Vote16HI, and Common Cause Hawaii.
Your Committee finds that the earlier a person begins civic participation, such as voting, the more likely that person is to remain a lifelong active citizen and participant in democracy. Your Committee further finds that primary elections are a crucial phase of the election cycle, and that full participation as a voter in a general election involves the opportunity to vote in the corresponding primary election.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Allowing individuals who are seventeen years of age but will be eighteen years of age on or before the next general election to vote in all co-occurring or intervening special elections;
(2) Changing the residency requirement from one year to thirty days before the next primary election; 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. 551, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 551, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair