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LWV and Election Laws (Nan Lowers)

LWV and Election Laws

We failed in our first lobbying at a general session of Hawaii's Legislature. Failed? Yes, because with few exceptions League members failed to contact their legislators to urge passage of bills we favored.

Those who subscribed to our Legislative Report will be aware of how little election low legislation passed. Here is a brief mummery:

There were 28 bills and resolutions on elections introduced in the House, and 26 in the Senate. (Many were duplicates, many not significant.) Only 5 bills passed.

The first four below have been signed by the Governor and have become law.

  1. HB-670 - Authorizing the Lt. Governor to decide on an electronic voting system. $100,000 was put in the budget to purchase machines. (This we wanted.)

  2. H8-354 - Establishing an absentee voter precinct. Allows more time for absentee ballot to be received. Protects secrecy of ballot in machine precincts. (Honolulu League wanted this.)

  3. HB-355 - Provides for inclusion of a non-partisan at the primary. (This we were against.)

  4. HB-671 - Allows successful candidate in primary to file expense statement for that campaign after the general.

  5. HB-856 - Provides that voter's receipt be accepted by employer as evidence of voting.

We also wanted:

Lowering of the voting age. - Deferred to Constitutional Convention.

Lowering of the Residency Requirement - Deferred to Constitutional Convention.

Identification at Polls - Legislators listened but need educating.

A Bi-Partisan Committee - Bill on this died in Committee.(*)

More time between elections - A tough one - not wanted by Legislators.

Administrative Changes - See notes on HE-669 below.

(*) House Resolution did go through requesting Lt. Governor
to make a study on elections and report to Budget Session.

Our greatest disappointment was the failure of HB-669. It went into conference committee but on the last day they could not agree. It was a good bill including many of the changes we wanted: mandatory training of workers; pools of workers to be drawn on in each district; polls to be open until 6:00 PM; earlier filing date; and still more. This is a case where more messages to your legislator undoubtedly would have gotten the bill outs

This is a sad story. Let's start "educating" ourselves and neighbors now so that we cal get our ideas across next time.

Nan Lowers

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