STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1071
RE: S.B. No. 1076
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 1076, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ELECTIONS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to increase voter knowledge and engagement.
Specifically, this measure:
(1) Requires the Office of Elections to prepare and publish a digital voter information guide that meets certain accessibility standards;
(2) Requires printed copies of the guide to be distributed to public libraries and members of the public upon request;
(3) Requires the Office of Elections to mail with each primary election ballot a notice to voters that the digital voter information guide is available on the Office of Elections website; and
(4) Makes an appropriation to the Office of Elections.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Disability and Communication Access Board, Community Alliance on Prisons, League of Women Voters of Hawaii, and nine individuals.
Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from one individual.
Your Committee received written comments on this measure from the Office of Elections.
Your Committee finds that the voter information guide proposed by this measure would create a more informed electorate and increase voter participation and engagement.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Adopting amendments requested by the Office of Elections to:
(A) Require the Attorney General and each county corporation counsel to translate their respective ballot question explanations into certain languages required under the federal Voting Rights Act and submit the explanations to the Office of Elections no later than seventy-five days before the general election;
(B) Clarify that physical copies of the digital voter information guide be distributed to public libraries for public viewing, rather than dissemination; and
(C) Remove the requirement that the Office of Elections print and mail a physical copy of the digital voter information guide to a voter upon request;
(2) Clarifying that the explanation of a proposed constitutional amendment drafted by the Attorney General is the explanation currently required pursuant to section 11-118.5(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes;
(3) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and
(4) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments 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. 1076, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1076, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair