Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/18/1993 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                            
                        February 18, 1993                                      
                            8:00 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative Al Vezey, Chairman                                            
  Representative Pete Kott, Vice Chairman                                      
  Representative Harley Olberg                                                 
  Representative Jerry Sanders                                                 
  Representative Fran Ulmer                                                    
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Bettye Davis                                                  
  Representative Gary Davis                                                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
  HB 47     "An Act relating to the delivery of the primary                    
            ballots to persons making application for them                     
            when, by operation of political party rule, two or                 
            more primary ballots must be provided to the                       
            public."                                                           
                                                                               
            HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION                        
                                                                               
  HB 49     "An Act relating to facsimile absentee ballot                      
            application and facsimile absentee voting."                        
                                                                               
            HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION                        
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
  Charlot Thickstun, Director                                                  
  Division of Elections                                                        
  P.O. Box 110017                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska  99801-0017                                                   
  465-4611                                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 47                                            
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 47                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE: ABSENTEE BALLOTS - PRIMARY ELECTIONS                            
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN                                         
  TITLE: "An Act relating to the delivery of the primary                       
  ballots to persons making application for them when, by                      
  operation of political party rule, two or more primary                       
  ballots must be provided to the public."                                     
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/12/93        43    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/12/93        43    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY,                        
                              FINANCE                                          
  01/28/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/30/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/04/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/06/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/09/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/11/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/13/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/18/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 49                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE: ABSENTEE BALLOTING BY FAX                                       
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,Brice                                   
  TITLE: "An Act relating to facsimile absentee ballot                         
  application and facsimile absentee voting."                                  
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/13/93        52    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/13/93        53    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY,                        
                              FINANCE                                          
  01/20/93       117    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): BRICE                              
  01/28/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/28/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  01/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  01/30/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/09/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/11/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/11/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/13/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  02/18/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-20, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN AL VEZEY called the meeting to order at 8:03 a.m.                   
  and noted a quorum was present.                                              
                                                                               
  HB 47:  ABSENTEE BALLOTS - PRIMARY ELECTIONS                                 
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title of HB 47 and invited comments.                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT commented on line 28, page 2. He                    
  suggested inserting two words, "if applicable", in HB 47. He                 
  spoke of his understanding of HB 47 and requested more input                 
  from the Director of Elections, Charlotte Thickstun, who was                 
  present to testify.                                                          
                                                                               
  Number 111                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHARLOT THICKSTUN, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ELECTIONS,                          
  discussed her department's dislike of the bill and requested                 
  more time to compromise and make HB 47 workable.                             
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated HB 47 had not been placed in a                         
  subcommittee and asked for any comments from the committee.                  
                                                                               
  Number 136                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked Ms. Thickstun exactly what she                     
  would like to resolve.                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 143                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. THICKSTUN wanted to eliminate any chance of litigations                  
  between parties with regard to ballots.                                      
                                                                               
  Number 157                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HARLEY OLBERG stated it would be a good idea                  
  to pass this through central committees.                                     
                                                                               
  Number 169                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if the committee would continue to work                 
  on HB 47, and if so, a volunteer was needed.  If not, the                    
  committee would like to pass HB 47 out, he added.                            
                                                                               
  Number 180                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE FRAN ULMER requested a proposed committee                     
  substitute (CS) be brought before the committee.                             
                                                                               
  Number 190                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY discussed Representative Sanders working with                 
  the Division of Elections on HB 47.                                          
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS agreed.                                         
  HB 49:  ABSENTEE BALLOTING BY FAX                                            
                                                                               
  Number 199                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title of HB 49 and asked                             
  Representative Kott to submit his information on the bill.                   
                                                                               
  Number 209                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated he had a working draft of a CS to                 
  HB 49.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 218                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked to start the discussions concerning the                 
  working draft, and stated the CS must be adopted before it                   
  could be passed out of committee.  The intention would be to                 
  revise the draft in committee, therefore, it would be                        
  premature to adopt it, he said.                                              
                                                                               
  Number 234                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated major changes in the draft CS                     
  were to accommodate Alaskans living overseas.  The same did                  
  not apply to Alaskans residing in the Lower 48, he said, and                 
  noted there was a mail service problem, which meant it took                  
  longer than domestic mail.  Ballots mailed must be                           
  postmarked by the appropriate date, he added, and pointed                    
  out there was a time provision in statute.  The most                         
  expeditious mail service was overnight mail, which costs $8,                 
  he said.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 333                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. THICKSTUN  stated the Division did not want to pay out a                 
  lot for postage.  She preferred to see priority mail used.                   
                                                                               
  Number 364                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT felt they could discriminate between                     
  those in the U.S. and overseas.                                              
                                                                               
  Number 386                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated three questions:  "1) Is a qualified                   
  voter defined anywhere?  2) Are we extending this right to                   
  military and additional persons overseas?  And, 3) what is                   
  the monitor process on the other end?"                                       
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT, in response to the first question,                      
  stated designations from existing statutes had not been                      
  restricted                                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 419                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY understood one could not just go to any fax                   
  machine and cast a ballot.                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. THICKSTUN disagreed.  She said, "You could, but you                      
  would have your signature compared with the hard copy                        
  previously sent."                                                            
                                                                               
  Number 457                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER questioned whether or not forgery would                 
  occur, and asked if the Division was comfortable with this                   
  process.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 474                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY restated MS. THICKSTUN'S testimony, and added                 
  absentee ballots required witnesses.                                         
                                                                               
  Number 505                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT stated it would work like checks and                     
  balances, with potential compromises likely, but that the                    
  right to vote outweighed those compromises.                                  
                                                                               
  Number 535                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens                    
  Absentee Voting Act (section 104, page 6) required an oath                   
  administered by an officer.  It was his understanding that                   
  an official needed to verify the identity of the person                      
  casting a ballot.                                                            
                                                                               
  Number 557                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER agreed there should be verification.                    
                                                                               
  Number 563                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. THICKSTUN added every absentee ballot contained an oath                  
  and witness policy.                                                          
                                                                               
  Number 573                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER MOVED to AMEND HB 49 so there were                      
  officials present when a ballot was being cast.  She also                    
  asked for Ms. Thickstun's input.                                             
                                                                               
  Number 613                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. THICKSTUN stated her duty to work on HB 49 for overseas                  
  Alaskans, and stressed the importance of the bill to                         
  accommodate those who needed it.                                             
                                                                               
  Number 663                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated it would be addressed in statute and                   
  announced the committee would work with Representative Kott                  
  on that.                                                                     
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 692                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY adjourned the meeting at 8:49 a.m.                            

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