The Honorable Cynthia Thielen
House Conference Committee on HB 1133, HD1, SD2
State Capitol, Room 443
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
April 20, 2007
Dear Representative Thielen,
We are writing you in regard to H.B. No. 1133, A Bill for an Act Relating to Election Day Registration.
Election Day Registration, also referred to as Same Day Registration in past bills, has been considered by the Hawaii State Legislature for quite a few years without success. I won't cite all of the evidence of this practice meeting much success in other states which have allowed it for quite a few years in increasing voter turnout for you have received abundant testimony on this in the hearings you and other committees in both houses have held.
The difference between the House and Senate versions seems to be that while the Senate bill requires proof of identity plus proof of residence, the House bill requires proof of residence only. The Senate bill also accepts a valid military identification card as an acceptable proof of identify.
While the League of Women Voters nationally objects to picture identification documents as proof of identity before voting since we view this as an obstacle to voting for large segments of our population---the newly naturalized citizens and the very poor who have no driver's license nor passports for example---, for the purpose of instituting this very special procedure that allows registration on Election Day, the Hawaii LWV would accept the requirement of proof of identity. This would help dispel the objections to Election Day Registration because of the fear of fraud.
Representative Thielen, we do need desperately to increase voter participation in our state. We feel strongly that once citizens who have never voted or have stopped voting go to the polls for some compelling reason that drives them to use this procedure, they may continute voting in the future.
We are asking you to consider agreeing to the amendments made in HB 1133, S.D. 2. We would hate to see the bill die from lack of agreement between the two houses.
Jean Y. Aoki, Chair
LWV Legislative Committee