Chair Keith-Agaron, Vice Chair Shimabakuro and Committee Members:
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports HB 179 HD1 that specifies the in-state mailing address in a voter's registration record as the forwarding address for receiving absentee ballots permanently and that requires voters seeking to have permanent absentee ballots forwarded to another address to re-apply for an absentee ballot.
The League supports this bill, which has been introduced by the Office of Elections and is supported by County Clerks in their previous testimony. As Chief Elections Officer, Scott Nago, said in his testimony supporting HB 179, “The permanent absentee form is meant to be used by residents who no longer want to go to the polls and would prefer the convenience of receiving their ballot at home. …some voters are now listing an out-of- state address as their permanent forwarding address. …it is inconsistent with the concept of in-state residency to essentially declare that one will be permanently out-of-state.” The League of Women Voters agrees. Permanent absentee addresses need to be in the State of Hawaii. If one is temporarily out-of-state, one can apply for a seasonal absentee ballot for an election or election cycle.
According to testimony from our County Clerks, this bill will relieve them of time-consuming problems with returned permanent absentee ballots.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of HB 179 HD 1.