The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports HB 2538. which would discourage the dropping of voted absentee ballots into the precinct polling site ballot boxes.
This practice negates a great part of the rationale for allowing unfettered use of absentee ballots. If one is going to deposit the ballot into the precinct ballot box on Election Day, why not vote there, The processing and counting of ballots which are voted on using the machines there are much more efficient than that for absentee ballots. The absentee ballots deposited in the precinct cans on Election Day presents yet another processing step at the central counting center on that very busy day and night.
The signatures on the envelopes must be verified as belonging to the registered voter.
I became aware of this practice as an observer two elections ago, when I noticed an unusually large number of voted absentee ballots found in a particular precinct can. I noticed that the return addresses were from districts located all over Oahu. I figured that these were people who all worked at the same business concern, or were construction people working at the same site, They have every right to consult each other before voting. We just hope they were not being coerced or influenced into voting a certain way.
Our one concern should this bill become law is that this change be disseminated to the general public loud and clear so that there is no misunderstanding or ignorance of the law such that people will be disenfranchised on Election Day.
Thank you for this opportunity to testify on HB 2538.