Chair Luke, Vice-Chairs Nishimoto and Johanson and Committee Members:
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii strongly supports HB1027, HD1. The bill prohibits employers, unions, and candidates or their agents from assisting voters with completing ballots, both at polling places and in absentee voting.
It is especially important for absentee voting, adding additional safeguards to preserve the integrity of the ballot used in absentee voting and elections by mail, to insure fairness to all voters, and to minimize the opportunity for fraud. It is the League of Women Voters of Hawaii’s strong recommendation that our State move to more modern elections administration by 2016, adopting a vote-by-mail program statewide, which makes the precautions described in this measure especially timely. But since many voters in Hawaii are already using absentee ballots, we support the July 1, 2013 effective date for implementation of this bill.
On page 3, line 19, the bill requires that “the clerk provide the absentee voter with the ballots, ballot envelope and a return envelop that shall contain a statement to be subscribed by the voter that affirms the fact that the voter is the person voting and that the voter’s employer or agent, agent of the voter’s union, or any candidate listed on the ballot did not assist the voter.” The League does not believe this statement should appear on the ballot itself, and suggests the wording of the measure make it clear that this affirmation statement should be on the return envelope. We think this was the intent in theCommittee’s report. We concur with the penalties for violation of this measure. Thank you for the opportunity to testify.