Chair Hee, Vice-Chair Shimabukuro, and Committee Members:
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports HB 452, HD1 that deems any person who provides false information regarding the details of voting guilty of an election fraud.
Rooted in the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the League of Women Voters has worked to foster civic engagement and enhance access to vote since we were founded in 1920. Over time our work has evolved from efforts to gain and foster women’s suffrage to ensuring that all eligible voters – particularly those from traditionally underrepresented or underserved communities, including first-time voters, non-college youth, new citizens, minorities, the elderly and low-income Americans – have the opportunity and the information to exercise their right to vote.
It is precisely these underrepresented communities that have been recently targeted by unscrupulous individuals providing false information about the time, date, place, or means of voting which has interfered with these communities right to vote on the mainland. Although we know of no such incidences here in Hawaii, it is important for us to make clear that such actions constitute voter fraud and will be prosecuted as such. We should move preemptively to prevent such actions, which, as your bill states “discourage electoral participation and undermine the democratic process.”
We urge you to pass this bill. Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony.