Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/11/2021 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 83 ELECTIONS; VOTING; BALLOT REQS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 84 LAND VOUCHERS; PFDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 7 STATE TROOPER POLICIES: PUBLIC ACCESS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 12 MILITARY SPOUSE COURTESY LICENSE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 40 VETERANS' BENEFITS SERVICES; DISCLOSURE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
              SB  83-ELECTIONS; VOTING; BALLOT REQS                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:01:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER  announced the consideration  of SENATE BILL  NO. 83                                                               
"An Act  relating to  elections; and  providing for  an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:01:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER opened public testimony on SB 83.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:02:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MORGAN  LIM,  Planned  Parenthood  Votes,  Northwest  and  Hawaii                                                               
(PPVNH), Juneau,  Alaska, stated strong  opposition to SB  83 and                                                               
support  for policies  that make  it convenient  for all  who are                                                               
eligible to  register to vote and  cast a ballot. He  opined that                                                               
SB  83 makes  it more  difficult to  vote by  imposing burdensome                                                               
voter identification  requirements on absentee voters  and limits                                                               
in-person  voting for  communities with  a population  of 750  or                                                               
fewer.  He characterized  SB 83  as "part  of a  nationwide voter                                                               
suppression trend as  too many politicians try  to manipulate the                                                               
outcome of elections by making it harder to cast a ballot."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:04:36 PM                                                                                                                    
JEANNETTE   LEE,   Community  Democracy   Researcher,   Sightline                                                               
Institute, Anchorage,  Alaska, suggested the  committee reexamine                                                               
the need  for the witness  signature as it considers  the changes                                                               
to  voter  identifying  information   on  absentee  ballots.  She                                                               
described  it as  an  unnecessary regulation  because  it is  not                                                               
clear that this  makes the election more  secure. She highlighted                                                               
that documents in the 2020 court  case on the topic verified that                                                               
the state has  no process to check the legitimacy  of the witness                                                               
signatures.  When the  judge asked  whether  the requirement  had                                                               
ever  played   a  role  in   detecting  fraud,   court  documents                                                               
indicated, "the  state could  not identify  any such  instance in                                                               
recent memory  and was not sure  whether it had played  a role in                                                               
the distant past."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEE stated,  "Our research  has shown  that the  Division of                                                               
Election's  requirement to  provide identifying  information like                                                               
date of  birth is a  more effective  check; and yet,  in election                                                               
after  election  enforcement  of  what is  essentially  an  empty                                                               
gesture  has   disenfranchised  hundreds  of   eligible  absentee                                                               
voters." She  urged the legislature  to permanently do  away with                                                               
the   regulation  and   replace  it   with  a   robust  signature                                                               
verification process  and ballot  cure option that  allows voters                                                               
to fix errors on ballot envelops.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:07:29 PM                                                                                                                    
KENDRA KLOSTER, Executive Director,  Native Peoples Action (NPA),                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska, stated  agreement with  much of  the previous                                                               
testimony. She said she was pleased  that the state did away with                                                               
the witness  signature requirement  during the last  election and                                                               
she believes it should be permanent  for the reasons that Ms. Lee                                                               
stated.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KLOSTER described  the provision  for the  only-vote-by-mail                                                               
option  for  communities  with  populations of  750  or  less  as                                                               
problematic. She  said NPA has  done many studies and  reports on                                                               
the need for  both a vote by mail and  an in-person voting option                                                               
for  all   communities.  She   encouraged  working   with  tribal                                                               
communities  and  communities  to   talk  through  the  different                                                               
options.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She  offered to  work with  the  sponsor or  this and  subsequent                                                               
committees to improve the bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHOWER suggested  she  work with  his  office because  his                                                               
bill,  SB 39)  incorporates many  of the  things that  testifiers                                                               
have mentioned.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:10:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHOWER  found  no  other   testifiers  and  closed  public                                                               
testimony on SB 83.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SHOWER held SB 83 in committee.                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects