Chair Roy M. Takumi, Vice-Chair Takashi Ohno, and Committee Members:
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports HB 1797 which requires the DOE to provide seniors at public schools with voter registration information and requires the DHS to provide young adults in the young adult voluntary foster care program with such information and authorizes the department to assist young adults with registering to vote.
As pointed out in HB 1797, voter turnout for young adults in Hawaii is one of the lowest in the country. This cannot be good for the future of our democracy. For this reason, the League of Women Voters would like to strongly endorse the effort to provide voter registration to our young adults. We would encourage providing this information to seniors in ALL our high schools, public and private, as all our young potential voters need this information. The County of Hawaii Office of Elections has a commendable outreach program for all schools that wish to participate. The DOE should be encouraged to work with our State Office of Elections on this matter.
Revising HRS Chapter 346 to require the DHS to provide voter registration information to young adults in foster care is a commendable endeavor also. However, the League is unclear on how the DHS would further “...assist young adults with voter registration.” This provision needs clarification or removal.
We urge you to pass this bill providing voter registration information to our youth. Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony.