Testimony on HB 631 Relating to Voter Registration to the House Committee on Judiciary
February 9, 1989
I am Arlene Kim Ellis, President of the League of Women Voters of Honolulu. On behalf of the State and Local Leagues, we submit the following testimony on Senate Bill No. 717.
The League of Women Voters last year completed an extensive Election Laws Study and our membership reached a consensus to support registration by mail in Hawaii. Other States have used this method of registration for a number of years and heartily endorse it.
The Chair of our study personally conferred with Barbara Roberts, Secretary of State of Oregon, and Deborah Seiler, Assistant to the Secretary of State of California on the methodology and result of their system of registration by mail. Both officials stated that the system of registration by mail was working well in their States.
In California, applications for registering to vote can be found in supermarkets, convenience stores, libraries, etc. They reported that they had not encountered any problems with this liberal use of the applications.
The Secretary of State of Oregon stated that there was a definite increase in the number of people voting as compared with the past. She attributed this to the liberal voting laws in Oregon.
Citizen education and participation in the democratic process is the foundation of our form of government. The prime indicator of citizen participation is voter registration and voting. It is the responsibility and obligation of our legislature to facilitate the process of voter registration to accommodate those who are ill or disabled and those who are inconvenienced by work or family.
We endorse the accessibility of voter registration to all the eligible voters in Hawaii, and we support the passage of Senate Bill No. 717.