Two Voting By Mail Bills Will Move Forward
- Corie Tanida
(Honolulu, HI)— The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor today unanimously passed two measures to implement voting by mail statewide. SB1066 proposes starting the effort with Kauai County in 2018, followed by the remainder of the state in 2020. SB334 proposes to rollout voting by mail statewide in 2020. Both bills move next to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
Data from the 2014 and 2016 elections shows Hawaii wants the convenience of voting by mail with more than half of all registered voters opting to mail in their ballots instead of voting at polls on Election Day. “Hawaii has more than 40 years of experience conducting absentee voting. Expanding this popular option will reduce barriers to voting and allow for safe, efficient elections. We look forward to improved voter turnout,” said Ann Shaver, League of Women Voters of Hawaii President.
If passed, registered voters will automatically receive a ballot at their address—no request or extra application necessary. Voter Service Centers will be available statewide for those who wish to vote in person, and to provide additional services to voters. This overhaul of standard voting protocol makes way for an estimated $800 thousand in savings for the state each election cycle.
“Hawaii is already a leader in voting, but we can do more. Voting by mail complements previously successful efforts such as online voter registration and same day voter registration that are helping to bring democracy into the 21st century,” said Common Cause
Hawaii Executive Director, Corie Tanida. “Voters will have a much longer time to consider issues and candidates and make more informed decisions,” she added.
Common Cause Hawaii is a state chapter of the national Common Cause organization. Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to protecting and improving Hawaii’s political process and holding government accountable to the public interest. For more information, hi.commoncause.org
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.lwv-hawaii.com