THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

127

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

requesting THAT THE COUNTIES, in coordination with the office of elections, create and implement a transition plan FOR THE state'S CONVERSION TO AN election by mail system.

 

 


WHEREAS, Act 136, Session Laws of Hawaii 2019, (Act 136), which appropriates funds to implement and administer a statewide election by mail system, requires that all elections statewide be conducted by mail, beginning with the 2020 primary election; and

 

WHEREAS, Section 11-109(a), Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), as established by Act 136, only requires the counties to establish a single voter service center located at the office of the clerk; and

 

WHEREAS, Section 11-109, HRS, only allows additional locations to be established within a county as may be designated by the county clerk to service the needs of the county's voters; and

 

WHEREAS, Act 136 also does not contain any provisions for a transition plan as the State moves to all-mail elections; and

 

WHEREAS, the county of Hawaii covers the 4,028 square mile island of Hawaii; the county of Maui encompasses the various islands of Maui, Kahoolawe, Lānai, and Molokai; the city and county of Honolulu covers the metropolitan island of Oahu; and the county of Kauai covers the island of Kauai; and

 

WHEREAS, from times of the American Civil War, there has been a disparity between how one votes in urban and rural communities; and

 

WHEREAS, not only is this disparity evident along party lines, but also through the methods and means of how these populations vote. Specifically, in Hawaii, votes from rural areas overwhelmingly come from ballots received through in‑person and same-day registration and vote; and

 

WHEREAS, although 90 percent of people living in Hawaii live in a nonrural area, the votes of the remaining ten percent should not be neglected; and

 

WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that there needs to be a transition plan as the State executes an election by mail system; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2020, that the County Clerks of the Counties of Hawaii, Maui, Honolulu, and Kauai should, in coordination with the Office of Elections, create and execute a plan that will help voters in rural areas in our State transition to all-mail voting; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Counties are especially encouraged to establish additional voter service centers in rural communities, and;

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the County Clerks of the Counties of Hawaii, Maui, Honolulu, and Kauai; the Comptroller of the Department of Accounting and General Services; and the Chief Election Officer of the Office of Elections.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report Title:

Election Centers; Rural Areas; Counties; Transition Plan