Chair Mercado Kim, Vice Chair Tsutsui, and WAM Committee members,
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports SB 2335, SD1 which would make things easier for voters overseas to have their votes reach our state in time to have them counted.
This bill will go a long way toward assuring our military personnel, their families and other overseas voters that their votes are needed and valued, and will be counted as long as they make the necessary effort to get them in.
We are, however, disappointed by the SD1 deletion of the provision to give those who arrive home after the registration deadline to be entitled to register and vote in that year's election. We understand that the provision is not required by federal law, and that it would present a challenge to the State Elections Office. However, we believe that Election or Same Day Voter Registration, which is already successfully implemented in nine other states, is a viable and sound solution. It also has a significant track record for increasing and maintaining voter turnout, something Hawaii desperately needs. It would support not only our military personnel, their families and other overseas voters, but all Hawaii citizens who wish to vote but miss the registration deadline. Hawaii needs Same Day Registration and we strongly recommend the Legislature enact it in the near future.
Thank you for this opportunity to testify in support of SB 2335, SD1 and in support of our brave men and women overseas.