HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO ELECTIONS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that there has been a recent trend in Hawaii toward increased mail-in voting. The 2014 Hawaii primary election was the first election in which more ballots were cast early than were cast on primary election day. Fifty-six per cent of Hawaii voters chose to vote early during the 2014 primary, with approximately eighty-three per cent of these early voters doing so by mail-in absentee ballot.
The legislature further finds that Hawaii's conversion to elections by mail would significantly reduce the logistical issues related to conducting elections. The legislature concludes that an incremental implementation of an election by mail voting system is the best approach for the State to transition to elections by mail. The legislature intends that late registration remain available in an election by mail.
Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Require the office of elections to implement elections by mail in a county with a population of less than 100,000, beginning with the 2018 primary election, and beginning with the 2020 primary election, implement elections by mail in every county for all federal, state, and county primary, special primary, general, special general, and special elections;
(2) Provide places of deposit for personal delivery of mail-in ballots and a limited number of voter service centers that would remain open on the day of election to receive personal delivery of absentee, permanent absentee, and mail-in ballots, accommodate voters with special needs, and provide other services; and
(3) Appropriate funds for the implementation and administration of the election by mail program.
SECTION 2. Chapter 11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"Part . ELECTIONS BY MAIL
§11-A Elections eligible to be conducted by mail. Beginning with the 2018 primary election, the office of elections shall implement elections by mail in a county with a population of less than 100,000. Beginning with the 2020 primary election, the office of elections shall implement elections by mail for all federal, state, and county primary, special primary, general, special general, and special elections throughout the State in accordance with this part; provided that any person registered to vote in a county that has not yet implemented elections by mail under this part may request an absentee ballot or permanent absentee ballot in accordance with section 15-4, in lieu of receiving an election by mail ballot package pursuant to this part, and absentee ballot-only elections may continue to be conducted pursuant to section 15-4(b).
§11-B Procedures for conducting elections by mail. (a) Ballot packages for elections by mail shall include:
(1) An official ballot;
(2) A pre-paid postage return identification envelope;
(3) A secrecy envelope; and
(b) To the extent practicable, the county clerk shall mail a ballot package by nonforwardable mail to each registered voter in the county no earlier than eighteen days and no later than fourteen days before the date of an election. Nothing in this part shall be construed to change the responsibilities of the chief election officer under chapter 15D with respect to uniform military and overseas voters.
(c) The chief election officer shall determine and provide for voter service centers and places of deposit pursuant to this part and section 11-92.1.
§11-C Public notice of mailing. Public notice of the date or dates that ballot packages are mailed shall be given by the chief election officer and all county election officers in the manner prescribed in section 1-28.5 when all the packages have been mailed or made available to voters.
§11-D Ballot instructions; ballot return. (a) After receipt of the ballot package, to cast a valid vote, the voter shall comply with the instructions included in the ballot package. The instructions shall include directions for:
(1) Marking the ballot;
(2) Inserting the marked ballot in the secrecy envelope;
(3) Inserting the secrecy envelope with the marked ballot in the return identification envelope; and
(4) Signing the return identification envelope before mailing or delivering the return identification envelope containing the secrecy envelope with the marked ballot.
(b) The instructions shall include information on election fraud and voter fraud, as provided in sections 19-3(5) and 19-3.5, and notice that a violation of either section may subject the voter, upon conviction, to imprisonment, a fine, or both.
(c) To cast a valid ballot, the voter shall return the marked ballot in the return identification envelope containing the secrecy envelope with the marked ballot:
(1) By mail so that the return identification envelope is received at the office of the clerk no later than the time provided in section 11-131 on the date of the election;
(2) By personal delivery to any place of deposit no later than 6:00 p.m. on the day preceding the date of the election; or
(3) By personal delivery to any voter service center no later than the time provided in section 11-131 on the date of the election.
§11-E Replacement ballots. (a) A voter may obtain a replacement ballot if the ballot was destroyed, spoiled, or lost. Replacement ballots shall be provided to a voter who completes and signs a replacement ballot request form. The replacement ballot request form shall include information that allows the clerk to verify the registration of the voter and ensure that another ballot has not been returned by the voter.
(b) Upon receipt of the replacement ballot request form, the clerk shall:
(1) Verify the registration of the voter and ensure that another ballot has not been returned by the voter;
(2) Note on the list of registered voters that the voter has requested a replacement ballot;
(3) Mark the return identification envelope as containing a replacement ballot; and
(4) Issue the replacement ballot package by mail or by making the ballot package available for pick-up by the voter.
(c) Voters requesting a replacement ballot shall return the return identification envelope containing the secrecy envelope with the marked replacement ballot by mail or by personal delivery to a place of deposit no later than 6:00 p.m. on the day preceding the date of the election or by personal delivery to a voter service center no later than the time provided in section 11-131 on the date of the election.
§11-F Deficient return identification envelopes. If:
(1) A return identification envelope is returned with an unsigned affirmation;
(2) The affirmation signature does not match a reference signature image in the voter registration files; or
(3) A return identification envelope contains another signature discrepancy that would invalidate the counting of the ballot,
the clerk shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the voter by first class postal mail, telephone, or electronic mail to inform the voter of a procedure to correct the deficiency. The voter shall have five business days after the date of the election to cure the deficiency using the procedure. Counting of ballots and disclosure of results may proceed during the five-day period. An inability by the clerk to contact any voters under this section shall not be grounds for contest for cause under section 11-172.
§11-G Electronic transmission under certain circumstances. If:
(1) A ballot package is not received by a voter within five days of an election;
(2) A voter otherwise requires a replacement ballot within five days of an election; or
(3) A voter would otherwise not be able to return the voter's properly issued ballot by the close of the polls,
the voter may request that a ballot be forwarded by electronic transmission. Upon receipt of such a request and confirmation that proper application was made, the clerk may transmit the appropriate ballot, together with a form containing the affirmations and information required by section 15-6, and a form containing a waiver of the right to secrecy under section 11-137. The voter may return the voted replacement ballot and executed forms by electronic transmission, mail, or deposit at a place of deposit or voter service center; provided that the ballot and forms are received by the issuing clerk no later than the close of the polls on election day. Upon receipt, the clerk shall verify compliance with the requirements of this part; provided that if the voter returns multiple voted ballots for the same election, the clerk shall prepare for counting only the first ballot returned that is not spoiled.
§11-H Counting of mail-in ballots. Counting may begin no sooner than the tenth day before the election. In the presence of official observers, counting center employees may start to count the ballots; provided that any tabulation of the number of votes cast for a candidate or question appearing on the ballot, including a counting center printout or other disclosure, shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed to the public until voting for the election has concluded. All handling and counting of election by mail ballots shall be according to procedures established by the chief election officer.
§11-I Voter service centers; places of deposit. (a) Beginning on January 1 of the year in which election by mail is scheduled to be implemented in a county pursuant to this part, the respective clerk, after consultation with the chief election officer, shall designate at least one location in the county to serve as a voter service center. The office of the clerk of each respective county may serve as a voter service center, as may any other locations that the clerk determines will serve the particular needs of the county's voters. Section 11-21 relating to changes and transfers of registration shall apply to each voter service center as though it were the precinct at which a person's name properly appears on the list of registered voters.
(b) Voter service centers shall be open from the tenth day preceding the day of the election through the day of the election and at the same times statewide, except as may be provided in section 11-92.3 or by the chief election officer through administrative rules.
(c) Each voter service center shall provide the services specified in section 11-1 under the definition of "voter service center".
(d) The county clerks may also designate and provide for places of deposit if locations and apparatus for the purposes specified in this part can be securely maintained throughout the period of use for each election.
§11-J Election expenses and responsibilities for elections by mail. (a) Election expenses in an election by mail shall be as follows:
(1) Expenses related to elections by mail involving both state and county offices, or involving both federal and county offices, unrelated to voter registration, shall be divided in half between the State and the counties. Each county shall pay a proration of expenses as a proportion of the registered voters at the time of the general election. The counties shall separately be responsible for expenses associated with voter registration;
(2) All expenses for county elections by mail, which do not involve state or federal offices, shall be borne by the county and paid out of appropriations as may be made by the council; and
(3) All expenses for state or federal elections by mail, which do not involve county offices, shall be borne by the State and paid out of appropriations as may be made by the legislature. Expenses attributable to registration of voters by the clerk for state or federal elections that do not involve county offices shall be borne by the State and paid out of appropriations as may be made by the legislature.
(b) Election responsibilities for elections by mail shall be as follows:
(1) For elections by mail involving both state and county offices, or involving both federal and county offices:
(A) The counties shall be responsible for voter registration, absentee voting, and the mailing and receipt of ballots;
(B) The State shall be responsible for the printing and counting of ballots;
(C) The State and counties may otherwise agree to the delegation of these responsibilities to each other; and
(D) Any responsibilities not specified in this paragraph may be assigned to the counties or the State by the chief election officer;
(2) For elections by mail involving only county offices, the respective county shall be solely responsible; and
(3) For elections by mail involving only state or federal offices:
(A) The counties shall be responsible for voter registration and absentee voting;
(B) The State shall be responsible for the printing, mailing, receipt, and counting of ballots; and
(C) Any responsibilities not specified in this paragraph may be assigned to the counties or the State by the chief election officer."
SECTION 3. Chapter 11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part X to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§11- Postponed elections; disclosure of voting results. Whenever the conduct of an election within any precinct has been postponed:
(1) By the chief election officer or clerk in county elections because of a natural disaster pursuant to section 11-92.3; or
(2) By the governor during a state of emergency pursuant to section 127A-13(a)(9),
the printout by the counting center computer or other disclosure of the number of votes cast for each candidate or question appearing on the ballot for the postponed election, from any precinct whether or not designated for postponement, including votes cast by absentee ballot or in an election by mail pursuant to part , shall not be disclosed to the public until voting for the postponed election has concluded. For candidates or questions not appearing on the ballot for the postponed election, the chief election officer or clerk in county elections may postpone the printout or other disclosure of the number of votes cast until voting for the postponed election has concluded."
SECTION 4. Section 11-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:
1. By adding four new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read:
""Electronic transmission" shall have the same meaning as in section 15-1.
"Place of deposit" means a site designated pursuant to section 11-I for the purpose of receiving return identification envelopes in an election conducted by mail pursuant to part .
"Poll" or "polling place" means an office or other suitable facility designated by the respective clerks for the conduct of voting. Beginning on January 1, 2018, the term "poll" or "polling place" shall include a voter service center in a county where elections by mail has been implemented.
"Voter service center" means a location established pursuant to section 11-I to serve all of the following purposes:
(1) Receive return envelopes for absentee and permanent absentee ballots pursuant to chapter 15;
(2) Receive return identification envelopes in an election by mail pursuant to part ;
(3) Provide voting machine services for persons with disabilities pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-252), as amended, and any other federal or state law relating to persons with disabilities;
(4) Assist with voter registration services as provided by law, including late registration pursuant to section 11-15.2; and
(5) Any other purposes the chief election officer may deem necessary in the event of a natural disaster or other exigent circumstances occurring prior to an election."
2. By amending the definitions of "ballot" and "voting system" to read:
""Ballot"[,] means a ballot, including an absentee ballot, that is a written or printed, or partly written and partly printed paper or papers, containing the names of persons to be voted for, the office to be filled, and the questions or issues to be voted on. "Ballot" includes a ballot used in an election by mail pursuant to part . A ballot may consist of one or more cards or pieces of paper, or one face of a card or piece of paper, or a portion of the face of a card or piece of paper, depending on the number of offices, candidates to be elected thereto, questions or issues to be voted on, and the voting system in use. It shall also include the face of the mechanical voting machine when arranged with cardboard or other material within the ballot frames, containing the names of the candidates and questions to be voted on.
"Voting system"[,] means the use of paper ballots, electronic [ballot cards,] transmission, voting machines, elections by mail pursuant to part , absentee voting pursuant to chapter 15, or any system by which votes are cast and counted."
SECTION 5. Section 11-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§11‑4 Rules [and regulations]. (a) The chief election officer may [make,] adopt, amend, and repeal [such] rules [and regulations] governing elections held under this title, election procedures, and the selection, establishment, use, and operation of all voting systems now in use or to be adopted in the State, and all other similar matters relating thereto as in the chief election officer's judgment shall be necessary to carry out this title.
(b) In [making,] adopting, amending, and repealing rules [and regulations] for voters who cannot vote [at the polls] in person or receive or return ballots by mail, and all other voters, the chief election officer shall provide for voting by [such] these persons in [such] a manner as to [insure] ensure secrecy of the ballot and to preclude tampering with the ballots of these voters and other election frauds. [Such] The rules [and regulations], when adopted in conformity with chapter 91 and upon approval by the governor, shall have the force and effect of law."
SECTION 6. Section 11-15.2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"[§11-15.2] Late registration. (a) Notwithstanding the closing of the general county register pursuant to section 11-24, a person who is eligible to vote but is not registered to vote may register by appearing in person:
(1) Prior to the day of the election, at any absentee polling place established pursuant to section 15-7 or voter service center established pursuant to section 11-I in the county associated with the person's residence; or
(2) On the day of the election, at the polling place in the precinct associated with the person's residence[.] or voter service center established pursuant to section 11-I in the county associated with the person's residence.
(b) The county clerk shall designate a registration clerk, who may be an election official, at each of the absentee polling places in the county established pursuant to section 15-7, prior to the day of the election [and at]. At each of the polling places in the county on the day of the election[.], an election official shall be designated to serve as a registration clerk.
(c) The registration clerk shall [process] accept applications for any person not registered to vote who submits a signed affidavit in accordance with section 11-15, which shall include a sworn affirmation:
(1) Of the person's qualification to vote;
(2) Acknowledging that the person has not voted and will not vote at any other polling place for that election and has not cast and will not cast any absentee ballot pursuant to chapter 15 for that election; and
(3) Acknowledging that providing false information may result in a class C felony, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both."
SECTION 7. Section 11-17, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a) The clerk, not later than 4:30 p.m. on the sixtieth day after every general election, shall remove the name of any registered voter who did not vote in that general election, and also did not vote in the primary election preceding that general election, and also did not vote in the previous general election, and also did not vote in the primary election preceding that general election, and also did not vote in the regularly scheduled special elections held in conjunction with those primary and general elections, if any, with the exception of:
(1) Those who submitted written requests for absentee ballots as provided in section 15-4; or
(2) Anyone who preregistered pursuant to section 11-12(b).
If a person voted, at least once, in any of the above-mentioned elections, the person's name shall remain on the list of registered voters. For this purpose, "vote" means the depositing of the ballot in the ballot box regardless of whether the ballot is blank or later rejected for any reason. In the case of voting machines, "vote" means the voter has activated the proper mechanism and fed the vote into the machine. In the case of an election by mail pursuant to part , "vote" means the voter has returned the ballot to the chief election officer or clerk by the United States Postal Service or by delivering the ballot to a place of deposit or voter service center."
SECTION 8. Section 11-92.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending its title and subsection (a) to read as follows:
"§11-92.1 Election proclamation; [establishment of a new precinct.] places of deposit; voter service centers. (a) The chief election officer shall issue a proclamation [whenever a new precinct is established in any representative district.] listing all polling places and, in counties where elections by mail have been implemented pursuant to part , places of deposit, and voter service centers. Places of deposit may be open as soon as election by mail ballot packets are made available to voters. The chief election officer shall provide a suitable polling place for each precinct[.] in counties where elections by mail have not been implemented. Beginning on January 1, 2018, voter service centers shall be made available pursuant to section 11-I in a county where elections by mail have been implemented. Schools, recreational halls, park facilities, and other publicly owned or controlled buildings, whenever possible and convenient, shall be used as polling places[.] or, in the case of elections by mail pursuant to part , as voter service centers. The chief election officer shall make arrangements for the rental or erection of suitable shelter for this purpose whenever public buildings are not available and shall cause these polling places or voter service centers to be equipped with the necessary facilities for lighting, ventilation, and equipment needed for elections on any island. This proclamation may be issued jointly with the proclamation required in section 11-91."
SECTION 9. Section 11-92.3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending its title and subsection (a) to read as follows:
"§11-92.3 [Consolidated precincts; natural] Natural disasters; postponement; absentee voting [required]; elections by mail; special elections. (a) In the event of a flood, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, high wind, or other natural disaster, occurring prior to an election, that makes a precinct or voter service center inaccessible, the chief election officer or county clerk in the case of county elections may consolidate precincts or provide an alternate precinct or voter service center within a representative district[.] or county, as applicable. If the extent of damage caused by any natural disaster is such that the ability of voters, in any precinct, district, or county, to exercise their right to vote is substantially impaired, the chief election officer or county clerk in the case of county elections may [require]:
(1) Require the registered voters of the affected precinct, district, or county to vote by absentee ballot pursuant to section 15-2.5 [and may postpone] or by mail pursuant to part ; and
(2) Postpone the conducting of an election in the affected precinct, district, or county for no more than twenty-one days; provided that any such postponement shall not affect the conduct of the election, tabulation, or distribution of results for those precincts, districts, or counties not designated for postponement.
The chief election officer or county clerk in the case of county elections shall give notice of the consolidation, postponement, or requirement to vote by absentee ballot[,] or by mail, in the affected [county or] precinct, county, or district prior to the opening of [the] each precinct polling place by whatever possible news or broadcast media are available. Precinct officials and workers affected by any consolidation shall not forfeit their pay."
SECTION 10. Section 11-173.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a) In primary and special primary election contests, and county election contests held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election, the complaint shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the supreme court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the [sixth] thirteenth day after a primary or special primary election, or county election contests held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election, and shall be accompanied by a deposit for costs of court as established by rules of the supreme court. The clerk shall issue to the defendants named in the complaint a summons to appear before the supreme court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fifth day after service thereof."
SECTION 11. Section 11-184, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§11-184 Election expenses and responsibilities in combined state and county elections. Election expenses in elections involving both state and county offices, except for elections conducted by mail in whole or in part, shall be shared as set forth below:
(1) The State shall pay and be responsible for:
(A) Precinct officials;
(B) Instruction of precinct officials when initiated or approved by the chief election officer;
(C) Boards of registration;
(D) Polling place costs other than supplies: installation rentals, ballot boxes, voting booths, custodians, telephones, and maintenance;
(E) Other equipment such as ballot transport containers;
(F) Temporary election employees hired to do strictly state work; and
(G) Extraordinary voter registration and voter education costs when approved by the chief election officer[.];
(2) The county shall pay and be responsible for:
(A) Normal voter registration, voters list maintenance, and all printing connected with voter registration, including printing of the voters list;
(B) Temporary election employees hired to do strictly county work;
(C) Maintenance of existing voting machines, including parts, freight, storage, programming, and personnel;
(D) Maintenance and storage of voting devices and other equipment; and
(E) Employees assigned to conduct absentee polling place functions[.]; and
(3) The remaining election expenses shall be divided in half between the State and the counties. Each county will pay a proration of expenses as a proportion of the registered voters at the time of the general election. These expenses shall include but not be limited to:
(A) Polling place supplies;
(B) All printing, including ballots, but excluding printing connected with voter registration;
(C) Temporary election employees not including voting machine programmers doing work for both the State and county;
(D) Ballot preparation and packing; and
(E) All other costs for which the State or county are not specifically responsible relating to the operation of voting machines, electronic voting systems, and other voting systems except paper ballots to include but not be limited to real property rentals, equipment rentals, personnel, mileage, telephones, supplies, publicity, computer programming, and freight.
The responsibility for the above functions shall be determined by the chief election officer where the responsibility for such functions has not been assigned by the legislature.
Any future expenses not presently incurred under any voting system now in use or to be used shall be assigned to [paragraphs] paragraph (1), (2), or (3) [above] by the chief election officer upon agreement with the clerks or by the legislature."
SECTION 12. Section 15-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (e) to read as follows:
"(e) When a registered voter requests an absentee ballot, the voter also may include an additional request to receive absentee ballots permanently. After receiving a request for permanent absentee voter status, the clerk shall mail to the voter who requested permanent absentee voter status an absentee ballot for all subsequent elections conducted in that precinct. The forwarding address for absentee ballots to be permanently mailed shall be the in-state mailing address contained in the voter's registration record. Subject to the conditions of subsection (a), a permanent absentee voteror a voter in an election by mail pursuant to part of chapter 11 may also request from the clerk that the voter's ballot be forwarded temporarily to an address other than the permanent absentee mailing address originally requested[,] or for the purposes of part of chapter 11, either in or outside of the State, for a single election or for a primary or special primary election and the election immediately following the primary or special primary election. A [permanent absentee] voter's request for a ballot to be forwarded temporarily shall not serve as a cancellation of the voter's permanent absentee status [or], as a change to the voter's permanent absentee mailing address[.], or as a change to a voter's registered address for an election by mail pursuant to part of chapter 11. Upon the completion of the election or elections covered by the [permanent absentee] voter's temporary request under this subsection, the clerk shall resume mailing the voter's ballots to the permanent absentee mailing address originally requested under subsection (a)[.], or to a voter's registered address for an election by mail pursuant to part of chapter 11."
SECTION 13. Section 15D-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"[§15D-3] Elections covered. The voting procedures in this chapter apply to:
(1) A general, special, orprimaryelection for federal office;
(2) A general, special, or primary election for statewide or state legislative office or state ballot measure; and
(3) A general, special, recall, primary, or runoff election for local government office or local ballot measure conducted under [section 11-91.5] part of chapter 11 for which absentee voting or voting by mail is available for other voters."
SECTION 14. Section 19-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§19-6 Misdemeanors. The following persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor:
(1) Any person who offers any bribe or makes any promise of gain, or with knowledge of the same permits any person to offer any bribe or make any promise of gain for the person's benefit to any voter to induce the voter to sign a nomination paper, and any person who accepts any bribe or promise of gain of any kind as consideration for signing the same, whether the bribe or promise of gain be offered or accepted before or after the signing;
(2) Any person who wilfully tears down [or], destroys, or defaces any election proclamation [or any], poster [or], notice [or], list of voters [or], visual aids, or facsimile ballot, issued or posted by authority of law;
(3) Any person printing or duplicating or causing to be printed or duplicated any ballot, conforming as to the size, weight, shape, thickness, or color to the official ballot so that it could be cast or counted as an official ballot in an election;
(4) Every person who is disorderly or creates a disturbance whereby any meeting of the precinct officials or the board of registration of voters during an election is disturbed or interfered with; or whereby any person who intends to be lawfully present at any meeting or election is prevented from attending; or who causes any disturbance at any election; and every person assisting or aiding or abetting any disturbance;
(5) Every person who, either in person or through another, in any manner breaks up or prevents, or endeavors to break up or prevent, the holding of any meeting of the board of registration of voters, or in any manner breaks up or prevents, or endeavors to break up or prevent, the holding of any election;
(6) Any person, other than those designated by section 11‑132, who remains or loiters within the area set aside for voting as set forth in section 11-132 during the time appointed for voting;
(7) Any person, including candidates carrying on any campaign activities within the area described in section 11-132 during the period of time starting one hour before the polling place opens and ending when the polling place closes for the purpose of influencing votes. Campaign activities shall include the following:
(A) Any distribution, circulation, carrying, holding, posting, or staking of campaign cards, pamphlets, posters, and other literature;
(B) The use of public address systems and other public communication media;
(C) The use of motor caravans or parades; and
(D) The use of entertainment troupes or the free distribution of goods and services;
(8) Any person who opens a return envelope containing [an]:
(A) An absentee ballot voted under chapter 15 other than those persons authorized to do so under chapter 15; or
(B) A ballot voted by mail under part of chapter 11 other than those persons authorized to do so under part of chapter 11;
(9) Any unauthorized person found in possession of any voting machine or keys thereof; and
(10) Every person who wilfully violates or fails to obey any of the provisions of law, punishment for which is not otherwise specified in this chapter [specially provided for]."
SECTION 15. Section 11-91.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.
["§11-91.5 Federal, state, and county elections by mail. (a) Any federal, state, or county election held other than on the date of a regularly scheduled primary or general election may be conducted by mail.
(b) The chief election officer shall determine whether a federal or state election, other than a regularly scheduled primary or general election, may be conducted by mail or at polling places.
(c) The county clerk shall determine whether a county election, held other than on the date of a regularly scheduled primary or general election, may be conducted by mail or at polling places. An election by mail in the county shall be under the supervision of the county clerk.
(d) Any ballot cast by mail under this section shall be subject to the provisions applicable to absentee ballots under sections 11-139 and 15-6.
(e) The chief election officer shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to provide for uniformity in the conduct of federal, state, and county elections by mail."]
SECTION 16. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2017-2018 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 for the purpose of implementing and administering elections by mail, including voter education and public awareness programs.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the office of elections for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 17. No later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session of the legislature, from 2018 until 2023, the office of elections shall submit a report to the legislature that includes:
(1) The office's progress in implementing this Act;
(2) The office's proposals for working with the county clerks to eventually merge permanent absentee voter registration lists with non-absentee voter registration lists used for the purposes of implementing this Act;
(3) Any additional resources the office may require to implement this Act;
(4) Any difficulties encountered;
(5) Specific steps taken and recommendations necessary to prevent fraud and ensure the integrity of the election process; and
(6) Any other findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation necessary to clarify and make consistent chapters 11, 12, 15, and 15D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, in light of the transition to statewide elections by mail.
SECTION 18. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.
SECTION 19. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 20. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2017; provided that:
(1) Section 6 shall take effect on January 1, 2018; and
(2) Section 15 shall take effect on the date of the 2020 primary election.
Elections; Voting; Elections by Mail; Absentee Voting; Postponed Elections and Election Results; Election Expenses; Appropriation
Requires the office of elections: (1) beginning with the primary election in 2018, to implement election by mail in a county with a population of fewer than 100,000; and (2) beginning with the 2020 primary election, implement election by mail in each of the other counties for all elections. Establishes an elections by mail system, including requirements for ballots, replacement ballots, deficient return of ballots, ballot counting, voter service centers, places of deposit, and election expenses and responsibilities. Establishes procedures for postponed elections. Makes conforming amendments to provide for an elections by mail system. Clarifies that election by mail voters can request that their ballots be temporarily forwarded to another address in or outside of the State for a single election or a primary or special primary election and the election immediately following it. Appropriates funds for the implementation and administration of the elections by mail program. Requires the office of elections to submit annual reports to the legislature from 2018 to 2023 regarding implementing the elections by mail program.
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