Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

03/21/2017 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to 5:30 pm Today --
*+ HB 94 AF AMER SOLDIERS CONT TO BUILD AK HWY DAY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 46 OCT 25: AFR-AMER SOLDIERS AK HWY DAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 46 Out of Committee
*+ HB 163 DPS LAW ENFORCE. SVCS: AGREEMENTS/FEES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 1 ELECTION REGISTRATION AND VOTING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 1(STA) Out of Committee
                                                                                                                                
             HB 1-ELECTION REGISTRATION AND VOTING                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:56:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the final  order of business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 1, "An Act relating  to absentee voting,                                                               
voting,  and   voter  registration;  relating  to   early  voting                                                               
locations  at  which  persons  may  vote  absentee  ballots;  and                                                               
providing  for  an  effective  date."    [Before  the  committee,                                                               
adopted as  a work draft  on 3/16/17, was the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HB 1,  Version 30-LS0070\O, Bullard, 3/14/17,                                                               
referred to as "Version O."]                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:57:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK stated  that  the  proposed legislation  was                                                               
designed  to accomplish  the  following:   provide  for same  day                                                               
voter registration;  to allow for  electronic signature  on voter                                                               
registration documents;  ensure that  early voting  locations are                                                               
the  same and  available for  every  election up  until the  next                                                               
redistricting; create  an option  for permanent  absentee voting,                                                               
which is  voting by  mail; and  change terminology  for "absentee                                                               
in-person voting stations"  to "early voting stations".   He said                                                               
that  parts of  AS 15  needed to  be updated  to ensure  that the                                                               
voting  practices that  are currently  occurring are  in statute.                                                               
He  relayed that  currently  a person  may  early vote  in-person                                                               
absentee within [15]  days of an election, and  on his/her ballot                                                               
is a voter  registration form allowing him/her to  vote early and                                                               
change his/her voter registration  simultaneously.  He added that                                                               
Version O would  "extend that all the way down  to same-day voter                                                               
registration."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  paraphrased from  the sectional  analysis of                                                               
the committee  substitute (CS)  for HB 1,  which read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation  provided with  bolded type  indicating new                                                               
sections]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1: Removes language from AS 15.05.010 that                                                                         
     requires a qualified voter to register under AS 15.07                                                                      
     before an election.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2: Permits a person registering or                                                                                 
     reregistering as a voter to apply using an electronic                                                                      
     signature.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3: instructing the director of the division to                                                                   
     determine the form of electronic signature to be used                                                                      
     when registering to vote.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4: Allows a qualified voter registering on the                                                                     
     day of, or within 30 days of an election, to vote a                                                                        
     questioned ballot at that election.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK stated  that there are only  six locations at                                                               
which a person can early vote  and have it count as early voting.                                                               
He added that  there are 101 locations in the  State of Alaska at                                                               
which  a person  can vote  in-person absentee  early within  [15]                                                               
days of the election.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  continued to  paraphrase from  the sectional                                                               
analysis, which  read as  follows [original  punctuation provided                                                               
with bolded type indicating new sections]:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
     Section 5: Amends AS 15.07.070(h) the procedure for                                                                      
     registration is amended to clarify the use of a                                                                            
     special needs ballot and clarifies that on the voter's                                                                     
     certificate on the ballot that registration includes a                                                                     
     voters choice to declare a political party, non-                                                                           
     partisan or undeclared.                                                                                                    
     NOTE: This is a practice the division of elections                                                                         
     already carries out, this is just updating the                                                                             
     statutes to reflect their current practice.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6: stating that section 15.07.070 includes                                                                       
     special needs ballot which is defined under 15.20.072.                                                                     
     Special needs voting: A qualified voter with a                                                                             
     disability who, because of that disability, is unable                                                                      
     to go to a polling place to vote may vote a special                                                                        
     needs ballot.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section  7:   If  a   persons  voter   registration  is                                                                  
     cancelled  under  15.07.130   voter  registration  list                                                                    
     maintenance,  and they  re-register they  shall vote  a                                                                    
     questioned ballot.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Section  8:  conforming  language for  same  day  voter                                                                  
     registration.  This  amends  AS 15.07.090(c)     voting                                                                    
     after change of name,  reregistration   to add language                                                                    
     that states if a person  moved from a new precinct they                                                                    
     vote an questioned ballot.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 9: cleans up language  about a voter who is not                                                                    
     found  on  the voter  registrar  to  vote a  questioned                                                                    
     ballot.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section  10: definition  expansion  to include  special                                                                  
     needs ballot.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 11: Conforms AS 15.07.130(e) to changes made                                                                       
     in section 18 of the bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:02:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 12: Clarifies privileges of poll watchers in a                                                                   
     general election or special election related to ballot                                                                     
     propositions.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 13: adds a new section to AS 15.10.170                                                                           
     appointment and privileges of poll watchers to clarify                                                                     
     poll watchers may be designated by prescient party                                                                         
     chair, organized group, or candidate. This is the                                                                          
     language that was removed in section 12 and made a new                                                                     
     subsection. NOTE: this practice is currently being                                                                         
     done by the division of elections.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
     Section 14 - 17: relate to questioned ballot procedure                                                                   
     and adding a declaration that the voter must sign that                                                                     
     the information provided is accurate.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 18: Renames absentee voting stations "early                                                                        
     voting stations." Provides that a location designated                                                                      
     as an early voting station will remain an early voting                                                                     
     station for subsequent elections unless the location                                                                       
     is no longer available for use or the director of the                                                                      
     division of elections determines that the location is                                                                      
     no longer appropriate. Requires the director to make a                                                                     
     determination that a location is no longer appropriate                                                                     
     for use as an early voting station available to the                                                                        
     public in writing.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Section 19-22: Conforms AS 15.20.050 to changes made                                                                       
     in Section 18 related to early voting stations.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 23: allowing voter registration updates                                                                          
     through electronic absentee ballot and fax.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:05:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 24: Requires an absentee ballot application to                                                                     
     include an option for a voter to choose to receive                                                                         
     absentee ballots by mail for future regularly                                                                              
     scheduled state elections. Provides conditions under                                                                       
     which the director may require a voter to reapply to                                                                       
     receive absentee ballots by mail.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
       Section 25: conforming changes for same day voter                                                                        
     registration.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 26: definition of electronic signature                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
        Section 27: conforming to section 18 of the bill                                                                        
     related to early voting stations.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 28: conforming to same day voter registration.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 29: conforming to same day voter registration.                                                                     
     Note: AS 29.26.050(a)(3): voter qualifications, is                                                                         
     registered to vote in state elections at a resident                                                                        
     address within a municipality at least 30 days before                                                                      
     the municipal election at which the person seeks to                                                                        
     vote.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 30: Provides authority to the director of the                                                                      
     division of elections in uncodified law to adopt or                                                                        
     amend regulations as necessary to implement the                                                                            
     changes made by the Act.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 31: Provides an effective date for the bill's                                                                      
     provisions.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:08:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the committee  would recess                                                               
until 5:30 p.m.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:36:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked for an  explanation of  the difference                                                               
between the process  for counting an absentee ballot  and that of                                                               
counting   a  questioned   ballot,   when  a   change  in   voter                                                               
registration is made at the same time.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:38:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURI WILSON, Elections Supervisor,  Division of Elections (DOE),                                                               
Office  of the  Lieutenant  Governor,  explained that  questioned                                                               
ballots are voted at the  precinct only on Election Day; absentee                                                               
in-person ballots can be voted 15  days before the election.  She                                                               
added  that  there are  other  types  of  absentee ballots  -  by                                                               
facsimile ("fax"),  by mail, and  online.  She stated  that these                                                               
ballots go  through the review process.   She said that  once the                                                               
voter has  cast one of these  ballots, DOE staff logs  the ballot                                                               
and completes an  initial review of the  voter's record comparing                                                               
the information  on the outside  of the ballot envelope  with the                                                               
information in  the database.   They then  assign a count  code -                                                               
full count, partial  count, or reject.  She said  that the review                                                               
report  and the  ballot  envelope together  go  through a  second                                                               
review,  which is  performed by  one of  two independent  boards:                                                               
the  "questioned"  board  for  the  questioned  ballots  and  the                                                               
"absentee" board for the absentee ballots.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP  asked  for  confirmation  that  questioned                                                               
ballots are voted on Election  Day and absentee ballots are voted                                                               
15 days before the election.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON answered, "That is correct."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  asked for  the length  of the  early voting                                                               
period.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON responded that the early  voting period is the 15 days                                                               
before the election.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP asked  if absentee and early  voting are the                                                               
same.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON replied that absentee  voting and early voting are two                                                               
separate processes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:41:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  asked for  the proof  of residency  that is                                                               
required to demonstrate  that the person registering  to vote has                                                               
lived in the district for 30 days.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON  answered that for  the presidential  election, Alaska                                                               
currently has  same day registration.   She stated that  when the                                                               
voter  applies for  registration,  DOE verifies  all the  voter's                                                               
identifiers using  the Division of Motor  Vehicles (DMV) database                                                               
and the  Social Security Administration  (SSA) database,  both of                                                               
which are accessed through DMV.   She said that currently DOE can                                                               
look up a voter's registration  date in its database to determine                                                               
if the voter has been registered for  30 days.  She said that for                                                               
someone newly  registered, under Version  O he/she would  need to                                                               
submit  a signed  declaration attesting  that he/she  has been  a                                                               
resident of the district for 30  days prior to the election.  The                                                               
identifiers for  that person then  would be verified  through the                                                               
DMV and SSA databases.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP said  that his concern is  the potential for                                                               
voter fraud,  not on the national  level but on the  local level.                                                               
He mentioned that  he is considering introducing  an amendment to                                                               
Version O that would require  a person registering within 30 days                                                               
of  an  election to  provide  DOE  with  some  proof of  being  a                                                               
resident  of  the district.    The  types  of  proof would  be  a                                                               
paycheck  stub,  a current  Alaska  driver's  license, a  utility                                                               
bill, or a bank statement with a current address.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:45:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON  said that some other  states do require that  type of                                                               
proof.   She added that  since Alaska  does not require  that, an                                                               
amendment  would be  needed for  statute  changes and  subsequent                                                               
changes in DOE processes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:45:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  referred to  Ms. Wilson's statement  that an                                                               
in-person  absentee ballot  is  considered  differently [by  DOE]                                                               
than  early voting.    He asked  if she  was  referring to  early                                                               
voting in the six locations at  which a person can actually early                                                               
vote or  to someone  voting an  in-person absentee  ballot before                                                               
the election.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON responded  that at the six early  voting stations, DOE                                                               
offers  what is  referred to  as "early  voting" and  also offers                                                               
absentee in-person voting.   She explained that  early voting, as                                                               
it  is currently  done, requires  those stations  to have  "live"                                                               
access  to the  DOE voter  registration database  to confirm  the                                                               
eligibility of the voter at the  time he/she is voting.  Election                                                               
workers  check  to ensure  there  are  no  changes in  the  voter                                                               
record,  verify  the voter's  identification  (ID),  and issue  a                                                               
voter  certificate.   The  certificate is  signed  by the  voter;                                                               
he/she is  issued a ballot; and  the ballot goes "live"  into the                                                               
ballot box with no review.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON went on  to say that if a voter  wishing to early vote                                                               
has had  a change in  his/her record,  he/she would have  to fill                                                               
out the  [questioned ballot] envelope  at the  absentee in-person                                                               
table to change  his/her registration, and his/her  vote would be                                                               
subject to the review process.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked for confirmation  that at the 181 early                                                               
vote  locations without  live access  verification, voters  would                                                               
vote an in-person absentee ballot.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON answered, "That is correct."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  also asked  for confirmation  that currently                                                               
someone  could  vote  in-person  absentee   at  one  of  the  181                                                               
locations and change or update  his/her voter registration on the                                                               
ballot envelope.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON replied, "That is correct."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked  if  DOE   can  verify  a  change  in                                                               
residency  before the  ballot  is  counted or  if  DOE takes  the                                                               
signed affidavit.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WILSON   responded  that  DOE   takes  the   voter's  signed                                                               
confirmation attesting to living at the resident address stated.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked  for confirmation that there  is no way                                                               
of verifying residence prior to the ballot being counted.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. WILSON answered  that unless the voter's  address matches the                                                               
address in the  DMV database, without any  additional proof, that                                                               
is correct.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:50:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  mentioned that [concurrent]  verification is                                                               
not currently  possible for those  voting same day  or in-person,                                                               
if he/she  makes registration  changes.   He suggested  that same                                                               
day voting  should be offered  to someone voting a  special needs                                                               
ballot, voting  by fax,  or voting at  the 181  stations allowing                                                               
in-person  absentee   early  voting  within  [15]   days  of  the                                                               
election.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:50:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP mentioned  that often  DMV records  are not                                                               
current when a person moves frequently.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:51:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP  moved adopt  Conceptual Amendment  1, which                                                               
read:                                                                                                                           
     Page 3,  line 6,  following "election", add,"  a person                                                                    
     registering  to vote  within 30  days  of the  election                                                                    
     must  show   proof  of   Alaskan  residency   prior  to                                                                    
     registering  and  sign  an  affidavit  that  they  have                                                                    
     resided in the  district for the last 30  days prior to                                                                    
     the election and shall exhibit  to an election official                                                                    
     on  form   of  verification,   including  one   of  the                                                                    
     following;                                                                                                                 
          (1) prior voter registration with last four year                                                                      
          (2) pay stub proving Alaskan Employment                                                                               
          (3) current Alaska Driver's License                                                                                   
          (4) utility bill receipts with current address                                                                        
          (5) bank statements with current address                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK objected  for the purpose of  discussion.  He                                                               
said his  only concern regarding  the proposed amendment  is that                                                               
it is  clear that  the verification process  is not  necessary to                                                               
change party affiliation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP responded, "That is my intent."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked if [CSHB  1, Version O]  would allow                                                               
someone to  change his/her  party affiliation on  the day  of the                                                               
election.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  answered yes.    He  said it  is  currently                                                               
allowed  with  a  questioned ballot  and  an  in-person  absentee                                                               
ballot.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX offered  that in  a primary  election, one                                                               
can't change one's party registration  on the day of the election                                                               
and  have it  count.   She added  that it  must be  done 30  days                                                               
prior.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:53:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WILSON said  that  Representative LeDoux  is  correct.   She                                                               
responded  that  currently  a voter  can  make  any  registration                                                               
changes  on a  questioned ballot  form or  an absentee  in-person                                                               
[ballot]  envelope; however,  for the  primary election,  a party                                                               
affiliation change is not effective  on the day of election under                                                               
current statute.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  if   under  either  Version  O  or                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1  to Version O, someone  could change one's                                                               
party affiliation on  the day of the election and  have it count,                                                               
to vote in that election.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WILSON  expressed  her  understanding  that  the  intent  of                                                               
Version  O is  to allow  for same  day registration,  which would                                                               
include a change in party affiliation  the same day and allow the                                                               
vote to be counted.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:55:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP stated  that Conceptual  Amendment 1  would                                                               
have no  effect on that  situation.  [Conceptual Amendment  1 was                                                               
treated as adopted.]                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:56:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 5:56 p.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:56:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  moved  to  report  CSHB  1,  Version  30-                                                               
LS0070\O,  Bullard, 3/14/17  out of  committee, as  amended, with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no objection, CSHB 1(STA) was reported from the                                                                     
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB46 - Letter of Support - McClures 3.8.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB 46 ver A 3.8.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB46 - Letter of support - Mr. Reginald Beverly 3.8.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB46 - LOS - Lael Morgan 3.8.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB46 - October 25th – African American Soldiers - 3.8.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB46 letter of support - AK Veterans Foundation 3.8.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB 46 Fiscal Note DMVA 3.8.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB 46 List of Testifiers - House State Affairs Committee 3.8.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB 46 Sectional Analysis ver A 3.8.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB 46 Senator Sullivan's Support 3.8.17.jpeg HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB 46 Sponsor Statement ver A 3.8.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
Alaska Highway Day SB46.msg HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
letter of support and SB 46 supplemental material (1).msg HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
letter of support and SB 46 supplemental material.msg HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
HB163 Speaker Edgmon Contracts for Troopers Services Transmittal Letter 03.07.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 163
HB 163 Sectional Analysis 3.9.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 163
HB163 ver A 3.9.17.PDF HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 163
HB0163 Fiscal Note ADM 3.9.17.PDF HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 163
HB0163 Fiscal Note DPS 3.9.17.PDF HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 163
HB001 Draft Proposed Amendment D.1 3.7.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 1
HB094 Sponsor Statement 3.21.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 94
HB094 ver 30-LS0275-A 3.21.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 94
HB094 Supporting Document 3.21.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 94
HB094 Fiscal Note 3.21.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 94
SB 46 - LOS - Katrina Gill Beverly - 3.20.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB 46 - LOS - Ceylon Mitchell - 3.20.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
SB 46 Letter of Support Paula Perry 3.21.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46
HB163 Letter of Support 3.18.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 163
SB046 Letter of Support,Thanks 3.22.17.pdf HSTA 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
SB 46