Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/04/1995 08:07 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE April 4, 1995 8:07 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jeannette James, Chair Representative Scott Ogan, Vice-Chair Representative Joe Green Representative Ivan Representative Brian Porter Representative Caren Robinson Representative Ed Willis MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Joe Green COMMITTEE CALENDAR HB 267: "An Act relating to review and expiration of regulations; and providing for an effective date." HEARD AND HELD SB 5: "An Act prescribing the use and characteristics of voting booths employed in elections and the color of ballots used in state primary elections." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE *HB 211: "An Act relating to voter registration and to state election administration." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE SB 92: "An Act requiring that, in addition to its operating budget, all activities of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation are subject to the Executive Budget Act. SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD *HB 232: "An Act establishing an economic development tax credit; and providing for an effective date. SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD (* First public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER JOSH FINK, Legislative Assistant to Senator Tim Kelly State Capitol Building, Room 101 Juneau, AK 99811-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3822 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for SB 5 DAVID KOIVUNIEMI, Acting Director Division of Elections Office of the Lieutenant Governor Court Plaza Building, 4th Floor Juneau, AK 99811-0017 Telephone: (907) 465-4611 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information for CSSB 5 and HB 211. REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE Alaska State Legislature Alaska State Capitol, Room 108 Juneau, AK 99701-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4843 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided Sponsor Statement for SB 5 LARRY BAKER 3947 Lacarno Anchorage, AK 99518 Telephone: (907) 563-6387 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided support on HB 211 BOB MOTZNIK 8301 Briarwood Anchorage, AK 99516 Telephone: (907) 344-6254 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided comments PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 267 SHORT TITLE: REGULATION REVIEW AND EXPIRATION SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES,Kelly JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/17/95 779 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/17/95 779 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 03/20/95 825 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KELLY 03/23/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/23/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/28/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/28/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/30/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 04/04/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: SB 5 SHORT TITLE: ELECTION BALLOTS SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) KELLY,Salo JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/06/95 14 (S) PREFILE RELEASED - 1/6/95 01/16/95 14 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/16/95 14 (S) STA, FIN 02/14/95 (S) STA AT 03:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/14/95 (S) MINUTE(STA) 02/16/95 315 (S) STA RPT CS 3DP 1NR SAME TITLE 02/16/95 315 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (GOV #1) 03/02/95 454 (S) FIN RPT 6DP 1NR (STA)CS 03/02/95 454 (S) ZERO FN (GOV #1) 03/02/95 (S) FIN AT 09:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 520 03/03/95 (S) RLS AT 11:20 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 03/03/95 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/14/95 600 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 3/14/95 03/14/95 603 (S) HELD TO 3/15 CAL FOR 2ND RDG 03/15/95 619 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/15/95 619 (S) STA CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/15/95 619 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 03/15/95 619 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 5(STA) 03/15/95 619 (S) PASSED Y19 N- E1 03/15/95 635 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/17/95 764 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/17/95 765 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 03/30/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 04/04/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 211 SHORT TITLE: VOTER REGISTRATION LAWS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/01/95 529 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/01/95 529 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 04/04/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: SB 92 SHORT TITLE: AHFC SUBJECT TO EXEC. BUDGET ACT SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF LEGISLATIVE BUDGET AND AUDIT JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/21/95 349 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/21/95 349 (S) STA, FIN 02/28/95 (S) STA AT 03:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/28/95 (S) MINUTE(STA) 03/01/95 436 (S) STA RPT 4DP 03/01/95 436 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (REV #1) 03/15/95 617 (S) FIN RPT 6DP 1NR 03/15/95 617 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN (REV #1) 03/15/95 (S) FIN AT 09:00 AM SENATE FIN 532 03/15/95 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 03/16/95 (S) RLS AT 12:00 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 03/16/95 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/17/95 664 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 3/17/95 03/17/95 666 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/17/95 666 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 03/17/95 666 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME SB 92 03/17/95 666 (S) PASSED Y18 N- E2 03/17/95 679 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/20/95 802 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/20/95 802 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 03/30/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 04/04/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 232 SHORT TITLE: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/06/95 590 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/06/95 590 (H) ECD, STA, L&C, FINANCE 03/21/95 (H) ECD AT 09:00 AM CAPITOL 17 03/21/95 (H) MINUTE(ECD) 03/22/95 850 (H) ECD RPT CS(ECD) 6DP 03/22/95 850 (H) DP: KELLY,MOSES,MACLEAN,KOHRING 03/22/95 850 (H) DP: SANDERS, ROKEBERG 03/22/95 850 (H) INDETERMINATE FISCAL NOTE (REV) 03/22/95 850 (H) FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 03/22/95 850 (H) REFERRED TO STATE AFFAIRS 04/04/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-42, SIDE A Number 000 The House State Affairs Committee was called to order at 8:10 a.m. by Chair James. A silent roll was taken. Present were Representatives Ivan, Porter, Ogan, Willis, Robinson and James. Not present was Representative Green. CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES announced they would not be hearing SB 92 as per the schedule. A committee substitute (CS) for the bill was in the making, so they would hold it over to next Thursday. CHAIR JAMES said HB 229 is a bill intended to prohibit loud sound systems sponsored by Representative Norman Rokeberg. The sponsor asked for the committee to waive the bill. Chair James said they would deal with it after the other bills. HB 267 - REVIEW AND EXPIRATION OF REGS CHAIR JAMES said the first bill on the agenda was HB 267, which was the review and expiration of regs. Chair James directed the committee to the fiscal notes for HB 267, and also a position paper from the Alaska Council of School Administrators in their committee packets. She said the CS for HB 267 was Version F, which came about by and through the subcommittee meeting they had with the Administration and Representative Willis. The subcommittee made a list of changes in Section 8 of the original bill. In the original bill there was a list of items the department would have to provide to the Administrative Regulation Review Committee. They would include items that the Administration would not normally have, and they would have caused a fiscal note for their preparation. The subcommittee reworded the section to say that only those things normally prepared would be provided to the Administrative Regulation Review Committee, and that they will respond reasonably to the requests of the Administrative Review Committee for other information. Number 084 CHAIR JAMES referred to page 3, line 20, stating an addition that the Fish and Game Board regulations would be exempted; also, any regulation that refers to federal law. So the committee aide could highlight the changes for greater clarity, Chair James decided to put the bill at the end of the agenda. She moved on to CSSB 5. SB 5 - COLOR OF PRIMARY BALLOTS Number 122 CHAIR JAMES said that in the committee packets they have the original bill that came over from the Senate. It was the State Affairs Committee substitute for SB 5, and a question came up from Representative Willis about which version, the original or Version K. The committee packets only had the CS, Version K. Chair James asked the sponsor which documents were the correct ones to use. Number 163 JOSH FINK, Legislative Assistant to Senator Kelly, did not have the same packet as the committee. He put together his own packet, and he said that he could tell the committee what sections came over in the original bill from the Senate. The letter number was G. CHAIR JAMES focused on the House Concurrent Resolution with a prospective CS behind it, Version K, which is a work draft provided by the sponsor. She said that some of the suggestions in the House Concurrent Resolution are nearly identical to items included in HB 211 on Voter Registration, which is Representative Con Bundes bill. There are also similarities in Representative Jerry Mackies bill that is presently in House Rules. Number 190 MR. FINK said he was testifying on Senator Kelly's behalf, because Senator Kelly was unable to be there. What the committee had before them was a proposed CS by Senator Kelly for their consideration. The original Senate Bill as it passed the Senate is contained in Section 8, 9 and 10. These sections require that primary ballots be printed on white paper, to prevent the invasion of voting secrecy that has occurred with different colored ballots in the last primary election. It will also require changing one half of the voting booths in each polling place. Rather than using the new suitcase booths, which lack privacy, the booths will require curtains. According to the Division of Elections they have enough booths so availability of curtained booths is not a problem, and there is a zero fiscal note on those sections. The remainder of the proposed CS contains new provisions and is accompanied by a proposed committee resolution to allow for a title change. Mr. Fink said Senator Kelly believes, if we are going to enact any voting reform, it should occur this year, and, in particular, not in a voting year. Session is nearly on its eightieth day and this is the only election form bill that has passed from one body and came to the other. After the Lieutenant Governors Transition Team report on the Division of Elections came out, Senator Kelly perused that, then incorporated into the CS the provisions he thought were nonpartisan and noncontroversial. He met with Lieutenant Governor Ulmer to discuss these provisions, who is in agreement. The next thing is to speak with the Division of Elections. Senator Kelly would urge the committee to accept the drafted resolution for the title change and adopt the CS. MR. FINK requested permission from Chair James to briefly review the provisions of the bill. After being granted permission, he began with Section 1. Section 1 provides that the information provided when voting a question ballot constitutes a change of address request and/or registration for future elections. Currently, another form is used. Sections 2 and 3 provide that the director of the division must purge deceased voters and felons promptly after receiving such information, and at least once a month thereafter. Sections 2 and 3 are the only sections in this proposed CS that are contained in Representative Con Bundes bill. Section 4 provides that the division director is directly responsible for the hiring, performance and evaluation, promotion, termination, and all other employee matters in the division. Section 5 and 23 go together to enact the same change. They provide that all division employees, except for the division director and four regional directors, are classified employees. Since putting together the CS, Senator Kelly met with Lieutenant Governor Ulmer and discussed it with her at length. There is an amendment on these sections, and Mr. Fink asked that they hold consideration on the bill until the Division of Elections explains the reason for the amendment. Section 6 strengthens the training requirements of the division staff, requiring the director to prepare a plan for the Lieutenant Governor describing the comprehensive training provided to the division employees during the calendar year. Section 7 provides that on the ballots the order of names be randomly selected within each district rather than rotating names. If there are 40 house districts, there are 40 different ballots, and in each house district you would have a random selection, so your statewide candidates would have a different order. From talking to people, Senator Kelly said the rotation of names has a negligible affect, if any at all. Random selection will save the division about $100,000 to $200,000 dollars. Number 260 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER asked about random selection and what they compared it with in their analysis. Number 265 MR. FINK said they compared it to the rotation selection, and the comparison study was done on a national level. Many states have eliminated the alphabetical rotation of names because of the cost. He went on to explain the changes in Sections 8 and 9, which provides that half the voting booths in each precinct be the curtain booths. Section 10 requires that all ballots be white. Sections 11 through 22, which, he explained, are contained in Representative Mackies bill that is presently in House Rules. Representative Mackie met with the Speaker and Senator Kelly, and he indicated that he preferred Senator Kellys bill to be the vehicle. He has offered to help them. These Sections, 11 through 22, provide that all candidates must appear on primary ballots. He asked Chair James if it would be appropriate to hand out the amendments. CHAIR JAMES said he could do that. MR. FINK discussed the Lieutenant Governors concerns as per the transition reports. One was the depoliticization of the Division of Elections. Except for the four regional directors, this CS would put the employees in the civil service, or a classified service. The transition team had some concern that these employees would be in a bargaining unit, and political action committees could engage in behavior that gives the perception of impropriety. The amendment would have the hiring and promotion and termination rules, and personnel rules, in regulation apply to classified service, but the employees would not be in the classified service. They would be between classified and exempt. That is what the longer amendment achieves. Also, the CS would inadvertently put them in classified service and allow them to be involved in political activity at the precinct level. The first amendment would prohibit political activities by members of the division and put them in the status where the personnel rules would apply, yet they are not classified employees. They introduced the second amendment, which is the shorter one, at the request of the Lieutenant Governor would end the $.50 a registrar gets for registering someone to vote. It involves considerable paperwork administratively, and is time consuming; in addition, with the new federal motor voter law, it is illegal now to require witnesses on voter registration forms. This would eliminate the potential for fraud. Number 322 CHAIR JAMES determined from her committee aide and Mr. Fink that this bill only had a Finance referral after it left State Affairs. She said they would take testimony on the bill, but she felt uncomfortable adding all these things to a Senate Bill at this time, because they were very substantial amendments. She recalled that Mr. Fink had indicated that he filed a bill with these extras in the Senate. MR. FINK concurred, saying Senator Kelly introduced a bill to familiarize the Senate with the new provisions. He has no intentions of taking it to the Floor, but it is scheduled for hearings. It was scheduled to be heard in Senate State Affairs next week. His concern is that if we do not take action this year they will miss the opportunity altogether. Number 349 CHAIR JAMES said she did not think that serious election reform should be ramrodded through. She said this is an extensive bill to go through one committee of referral before going to Finance. Her plan was to take testimony, then let the committee decide on what to do with the bill. Number 357 DAVID KOIVUNIEMI, Acting Director, Division of Elections, Office of the Lieutenant Governor wished to acknowledge, as per what Josh Fink said, that there was a meeting between Senator Kelly and Lieutenant Governor Ulmer. At that meeting they worked out the provisions and included them in the proposed amendment. Mr. Koivuniemi had some comments to make regarding particular sections of SB 5. First, in Section 1, until the 1994 primary and general election, the Division of Elections used the question ballot envelope as the registration document. However, the prior director changed that to not allow question ballot envelope to serve as a registration document. The intent for the upcoming presidential election is to reinstate the question ballot as a registration document. In presidential elections the 30 day registration period is waived and they can register on the day they vote. With regard to the section about deletions of felons, and death deletes, that is currently the practice of the Division of Elections, so no conflict exists. He brought up the concerns of Lieutenant Governor Ulmer and the transition team about putting them in classified service because they would enter into a bargaining unit that would be politically active, which is inappropriate. The purpose of the Lieutenant Governor and the transition team is to depoliticize the Division of Elections. That is why the amendment Mr. Fink described was requested. Number 420 MR. KOIVUNIEMI said he had previously testified on provisions that were included in Representative Jerry Mackies bill. The other deletion the division is proposing is the payments to the registrars, which Mr. Fink explained earlier in his testimony. They track payments to registrars by having them witness the registration document. Under the National Voter Registration Act, witnessing of voter registration is no longer required. CHAIR JAMES said the drafter of SB 5 was there and wondered if anyone had questions for the person. There were no questions, so she brought up the options they had when considering SB 5. Number 444 REPRESENTATIVE ED WILLIS voiced a request to hold the bill over until at least Thursday and deal with it at the next meeting. There are major provisions made to this bill, which they must consider, and he felt reluctant to make any decision on it. CHAIR JAMES asked the committee if they had any objections. Hearing none, Chair James said they would hold the bill until the next meeting, on Thursday, April 6. The next item on the agenda was HB 211, by Representative Con Bunde. HB 211 - VOTER REGISTRATION LAWS Number 465 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE said that he would like to refer to the CS and he hoped the committee would adopt the CS. He provided a blank CS, which is Version G. Representative Bunde provided his statement for HB 211. There was a sponsor statement, however, he did not read it verbatim. He stated the goal of HB 211 was to decrease the need for questioned ballots in the primary and general elections by assuring the accuracy of the official voter registration list. The CS for HB 211 would accomplish the goal in three ways: First, this legislation would change the composition of the official registration list. Second, it would provide for more frequent purging of the convicted felons and deceased voters. Third, it would increase communication between the Division of Elections and absentee and question ballot voters. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said the first and second sections of HB 211 call for the addition of inactive voter list to the active voter list. There are two voter lists currently: The active list refers to voters who have voted within the last two years, and the inactive list refers to persons who have not voted in the last two years. Current federal legislation now requires that there not be this two year limitation. Previously, the state of Alaska said that if you had not voted in two years you had to re-register. Now, once you register you are maintained on an inactive list. An inactive active list would include a person who has not voted for the past two years, is registered, and whose name does not appear on the official registration list. When Representatives request a registered voter list they do not get a total list. They only get the active list. If an inactive voter is contacted by his or her Representative they may convert quickly to the active list. Also, this legislation requires a list of inactive voters be available at the polling place, so the voter information and ID can be checked. This would eliminate the need for a question ballot. The Division of Elections estimated that the addition of this list would decrease questioned ballot need by approximately 2000 votes statewide. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE explained that Sections 3 and 4 of this bill direct the Division of Elections to purge deceased voters monthly, and convicted felons promptly. Research shows cause for concern that some people might vote in a deceased persons place. If the Division of Elections does not obtain the necessary information from the Department of Corrections regarding felony convictions, the names are not purged from the official voter list. Potentially, a convicted felon could vote before his/her name is purged. There is the potential for voter and permanent fund dividend (PFD) fraud here, and this bill will eliminate the potential threat of fraud. They counted 14,144 question ballots statewide in the last general election. Of these, 5,131 ballot were totally counted, 7,883 ballots were partially rejected, and 1,129 ballots were totally rejected. This means that the vote more than likely counted for statewide offices, but not for their particular Representative and Senator. Most people were not even aware their votes did not count. Representative Bunde continued to explain the changes, and stated that Sections 5 through 9 of HB 211 increase the amount of communication between the Department of Elections and absentee and questioned ballot voters. When a ballot is totally rejected or partially rejected by the Division of Elections, the Director of the Division of Elections must notify the voter within 60 days of certification of the general election, and they must be notified in a more timely fashion in the primary election. People who moved and whose address change had not been changed promptly were required to vote a question ballot in the primary election. This meant they were not allowed to vote for their individual Representatives: They had to vote either in the district where they previously lived and vote for a Representative not in their current district, or vote a question ballot in their new district and would not be able to vote for their Representative and Senator. They were disenfranchised, Representative Bunde believed, to their most important level of government: Their state Representatives and Senators. The final section of HB 211, Section 10, prohibits the appointment of any state employees to the data processing review board. After speaking with Lieutenant Governor Ulmer they decided that State Employee is too broad and should read any Division of Elections employee. This provision will keep the data processing review board objective and impartial. Alaskas last data review board was largely made up of state employees. Number 573 CHAIR JAMES had some election questions for Representative Bunde. First, when people register to vote in Alaska she did not think it would make any difference if people moved from precinct to precinct. The Division of Elections would pick that up. She questioned if someone came from another state, if they are notified that they were registered in this state. MR. KOIVUNIEMI returned to the committee table to answer the question. He said that all states exchange voter information. Number 585 CHAIR JAMES said she had many voters in her district whose votes did not count. Some were absentee voters. One, in particular, always voted, but when he went to vote his name could not be found on the list. He had his voter registration card, but the election panel gave him a question ballot. His vote was not counted, and the problem she discovered was that he had the same name as a person in Anchorage. She wondered if it was a problem with the system or just a mess up. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said it was not a perfect system, but he could do some research and get her an answer. They try to use an identifier, like a voter ID or a social security number, but clerical errors happen occasionally. Number 606 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE commented that some say there is difficulty getting a bill through in an election year. If it concerns candidates directly he would agree, but he does not think this bill, which focuses on voting and on voters, is so controversial that it would not go through. Number 620 MR. KOIVUNIEMI testified again on HB 211, to say that this bill clears up the registration update problem. He said they hear stories often about deceased voters voting. More than likely they were clerical errors. He had a concern about Section 2, page 1, line 14, about having the active and inactive voter list. He has a concern with the word including. What he would propose that the Division of Elections do to implement this section would be to have two separate lists, one with the active voters and one with the inactive: Not a merged list. This way people could get the lists separately. Number 688 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER said his first take was that there were a considerable number of people who left the state, but in terms of reciprocity, for states exchanging voter information, he asked if the Division of Elections purges them from the list. These people are either in the state and not voting, or in another state and not voting. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said that was a good assumption. Number 690 CHAIR JAMES commented on that point, saying she has a military base in her district: Eielson Air Force Base. This year, she did an experiment and sent letters and cards, with a return receipt request, to the nonvoting people in her district. The letter included a card asking why the person did not vote. She has a huge box of returns. Her biggest concern, she said was the percentage of voters in her district. Also she got a number of the cards back, but some cards said they did vote. She suspected this was part of their clerical errors. Many had forwarding addresses that expired, and these were still on the voter registration list. TAPE 95-42, SIDE B Number 000 MR. KOIVUNIEMI answered that they are on the active list for the last two elections, then they go on the inactive status after not voting for two years. They cannot be purged, or removed from the list, for six years. Number 010 CHAIR JAMES asked, for clarification, if the list they get for the voters in a district would be with or without the purged name. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said the list would be without the purged names. CHAIR JAMES replied that there must be another list that included inactive people, or those who have not voted for two or more years. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said there is not presently a list. They are in the system, but it would require programming some changes to allow them to pull up that list. There has been no law mandating them to produce that list, so that was part of what Representative Bunde was trying to do with this list. He wants this list to be made available. Number 045 CHAIR JAMES wondered if those people, who havent voted for two years and are on this inactive list, if they have left the state and re-registered somewhere else, would get purged. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said that theoretically, it is how things should work. They do receive those all the time. CHAIR JAMES confirmed that they would not be on the inactive list once they moved; however, they could be deceased or out of state. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said there are also people who only vote on presidential years. The number of absentee ballots requested in a presidential year show that. In 1994, there was something like 15,000 to 20,000 absentee applications. In 1992, for the general election there were over 38,000. Number 071 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said that Section 1 of HB 211 is in the previous bill they heard. Section 2 is not in the previous bill, and the rest of it is. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said not everything after Section 2 is in the other bill. They presently send letters to voters who have had their absentee or question ballots completely rejected. They dont send letters to partial rejects; this bill would require that they do, but SB 5 would not. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked what section that was. MR. KOIVUNIEMI told him that Sections 6 through 10 address the issue of mailing letters to partially and totally rejected ballots. Number 121 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked if they had adopted the CS for this bill. CHAIR JAMES said that had not yet adopted the CS. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said the only other comment he had about deceased voters was that the practice of the division is to get the list from Vital Statistics, they go through the obituaries in the daily newspapers. One more thing, the division endorses the amendment suggested by Representative Con Bunde about not allowing election workers to be on the Data Processing Review Board. LARRY BAKER, from Anchorage, testified by teleconference in support of HB 211. He made some observations and said he had germane testimony. In a recent campaign, in Senate District J, they identified 42 residents after the campaign who had notified the Division of Elections in the primary, by filling out their question ballot envelope of their residency. However, the Division of Elections failed to change that information. Consequently, their ballots were rejected in the primary. They went back to their precincts and voted again, on another question ballot, because of address questions. Their ballots were rejected again. MR. BAKER commented on the testimony of Mr. Koivuniemi, who said these are just clerical issues. In Senate District J alone, 11,000 votes were cast and 836 were rejected because of various issues. Some were accepted in the Senate race, some in the government race, and others were accepted in the House race, so it is not just a matter of people moving over one line to another. There was another item in this bill that was not reflected. He said when considering election reform, they should definitely review the boundary lines, because between the primary and general election the boundary lines were shifted in some cases. In Senate District J, 112 residents were shifted between the primary and general election, and there was not any notification to the candidates that a change took place. He thought the issue of the election district boundaries should be addressed, and candidates should be informed of the changes. Number 255 BOB MOTZNIK, former member of Anchorage Data Processing Review (DPR) Board, testified that he was on the Board for six years, and he has worked on elections for 20 years. He said he always found the Division of Elections tried to do their best, but the last election was a mess. There was minor reapportionment, and how that works is that the Division of Elections makes a JIF table. He explained the table, saying if a person lived on East Northern Lights, between 1000 and 2000 and are on the even side of the street, they are in such and such a precinct. The JIF table determines what precincts people are in. However, because of the reapportionment they had to remake the JIF table, and there were errors made in the table causing people to go in the wrong precincts, and some in the wrong districts. For example, the Pioneers Home was in the wrong district during the primary, and they voted for the wrong candidates, and their votes were counted for the wrong candidates. The impression Mr. Motznik had was that because of procedural and personnel changes they lost their efficiency. People changed their addresses, but many of those changes were not processed until after the general election. He did some investigating on his own and learned that many ballots were not accurately counted. He said there were about 14,000 question ballots statewide. Those are not available from elections that are machine readable. In order to determine how many votes were partially counted, you have to pay $150, get the whole state list, then count them by district. He discovered that the rules for counting question ballots were different in the Northern Region compared to the rules in the rest of the state. There were provisions in the election laws not followed in the last election. MR. MOTZNIK brought up the court case challenging the Governors race. He said it was almost embarrassing to read the Attorney Generals response after hearing that people were in the wrong district in the primary and their votes counted wrong, that it was no big deal. Mr. Motznik said it is a big deal. People were disenfranchised, yet you hear in the court testimony the Attorney General saying it means nothing. Mr. Motznik said he did not know how the rule could be enforced, but the Attorney General represents the state, and the only way to enforce the rule on an election official who has performed malconduct is to sue the state, and now you are fighting the Attorney General. He said that if a candidate loses an election by a few votes and wishes to challenge the election, that person would not have much money, and they would have ten days to sue the state. The malconduct that occurs within elections is usually not enforced. Getting back to their discussion about dead people voting, he said that was a small issue compared to the others. Maybe four people who voted had died, but there are probably 1000 people who put in address correction requests that were not processed by elections, so their votes were not counted. MR. MOTZNIK said he was the Chairperson of the DPR Board in Anchorage for three primary and general elections. Last time, Joseph Swanson, the Director of the Division of Elections planned to appoint the election supervisor in each area to be the chair of the DPR Board. After some complaining he did not make them the chairpersons, he only put them on the Board. Mr. Motznik disclosed that most of the people on the DPR Boards were new, which was a problem. The supervisor of elections is in charge of counting the ballots, and overseeing the operation of the election, so there is a problem when that person is also on the DPR Board. This is the board to determine if the job was done right. In Mr. Motzniks opinion, there is a direct conflict in this. The point was that the Division of Elections people should not be on the DPR Board. This is especially true about those people who are in some way affected by the outcome of an election, or involved in the counting of the ballots. There are people in data processing who maintain the state network, so they are involved in transmitting the votes from Fairbanks to Anchorage, for instance, to go into a statewide poll. If manipulation of the votes was intended, this would be where it would happen: Before the votes reached Anchorage. Number 500 MR. KOIVUNIEMI returned to make some comments on Mr. Motzniks testimony. He declared that vote accumulation is no longer done at data processing centers in Anchorage. It is done by the Division of Elections internally. In prior years it was done on the mainframe computer, but not any longer. He said there is a problem between the Division of Elections and municipalities. They do voter history for the municipalities, but they do not use their question ballots as a change of address for their purposes. The transition team strongly encouraged them to do something to improve the address corrections process. He said, in reference to what Larry Baker implied, that he was not blaming all the problems with voter registration on clerical errors. A major problem had to do with the question ballot envelope not serving as a registration document. Both SB 5 and HB 211 address the problem, and he thinks it will correct the problem. Another thing was that nearly all the testimony on these two bills made it clear that a major problem is staff turnover within the Division of Elections. The provisions of SB 5 aim to take care of these problems. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER questioned the boundary changes in the Senate district between the primary and general election. He wondered why the Division of Elections did not notify the candidates. Number 547 MR. KOIVUNIEMI disclosed that the voters were sent notices to inform them that they were put in the wrong district during the primary, and it was corrected during the general, but he could not answer why the candidates were not notified. He agreed that it definitely should have been done. Candidates should be the first to be notified. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON stated that she registered many people to vote, but knowing the changes were not being made in the computer she told the people to keep their registration forms. Quite a few of them called her to say they voted, and had their forms, but they were not on the computer list, so she wondered if their votes were counted. MR. KOIVUNIEMI expressed uncertainty. Normally, if someone could establish that they were properly registered before the 30-day filing date, they should be allowed to vote, but they might not get to vote in at least one election. Number 565 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said it is amazing how many people move at election time. She told the committee that one of the security officers in the building commented that he voted in the election that had her name on the ballot, and he thought he was in Representative Eltons district. He moved from the valley to Douglas, so he was, in fact, in Representative Eltons district. What he did not know is that his vote did not count. MR. KOIVUNIEMI concurred that if he voted in the valley his vote for the House seat probably did not count. If he voted in downtown Juneau and he was still listed as registered downtown, then his vote would have counted downtown. They can only base their presumptions on the information they have on record for individual voters. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked if there is a procedure, or if the bill fixes these problems of re-registrating to vote at the time of a municipal election, but the new address not getting processed. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said there is not anything yet, but the transition team discussed the problem, and one of the resulting recommendations he is passing on to the new Director of the Division of Elections is that they should work with the municipalities. Number 591 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER wondered if Mr. Koivuniemi would estimate what the requirements would be. He asked if it would require a change of statute or procedure, or what? MR. KOIVUNIEMI said he thought it could be done by procedure. He said that municipalities use the list from the Division of Elections, but he did not know the methods used by municipalities to update their voter registrations. Number 609 CHAIR JAMES had a question about the notification of the question ballots. She was not aware of any notification, but she began getting telephone calls from people who voted on absentee ballots that were not counted, so she knew there were letters being sent out. Her question pertained to if letters were sent out selectively. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said that when votes were totally rejected the voter was notified by letter advising them of the total rejection of their ballot. Partial rejections were not being notified. However, under HB 211 they would also be notified. Number 618 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN wanted Mr. Koivuniemi to explain what Mr. Motznik said early, that the votes of people in the Northern districts were counted differently than the rest of the state. MR. KOIVUNIEMI said he did not know anything about that. He said he intended to talk to Mr. Motznik about it after the meeting to find out what he was referring to. It was the first time he ever heard that. MR. MOTZNIK handed Chair James a sample of the voter list as evidence of the different method used in the Northern district. To explain the codes, he said that the names on the list that have an M," means count in everything but the judicial races. If they look in the middle of the column, it says District 37, Precinct 60, and that is the precinct they voted in. Toward the beginning of the column is the district and precinct that the person was registered in. Next to it is the mailing address they put in when they voted on question ballots. The names with an M are not registered in the District 37 but they were given a code of M that says their House and Senate votes were counted in District 37. They are registered all over the place. That is the opposite of what the rest of the state does. Number 640 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE noted that there were problems in the last election, but we learn from our mistakes and improve. HB 211 will put emphasis on maintaining efficiency with elections, and keeping voters enfranchised. Some responsibility will be put back on voters by promptly notifying them. Representative Bunde said if anyone wished to entertain amendments to the CS, he would speak to that. Number 650 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved to accept the CS, Version G, as the working draft, dated 3/30/95. There being no objections, the motion passed. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN asked about Section 2, which refers to the master list. He asked if those could be separated: One to show the current voter list and another to identify the deceased list. He asked if those would be provided to the different precincts. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE did not see the necessity of one master list to show all the names. There could be an active and inactive list. They would have to adjust the language so the inactive list is available. Number 661 CHAIR JAMES said a conceptual amendment would work on that. Number 672 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved conceptually that Section 2 be amended to allow for separate lists, active and inactive, but both being available at the election site. Number 676 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE had another amendment for HB 211. On page 5, line 3, where it says a state employee may not serve as member of the Data Processing Review Board, the amendment changes it to Division of Election employee. CHAIR JAMES asked if the amendment was written out. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said that it was not. Initially he was only going to change the wording from state employee to Division of Election employee. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he saw no problem the way it is, saying any state employee. All state employees are considerably affected by elections, directly or indirectly. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON thought it might be necessary to hear from Mr. Motznik again for an opinion. Number 697 MR. KOIVUNIEMI said his personal opinion was that it should be restricted to employees in the Division of Elections. He did not think they should take a whole class of people, because of their employment, and say they are no longer qualified to serve on such a Board. TAPE 95-43, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIR JAMES asked if Representative Porter had any answers about the concern Mr. Koivuniemi indicated, to exclude all state employees whether or not they have direct or indirect interest. Representative Porter had said they do have an interest, so she wondered if he saw a legal challenge by not having state employees serving. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER did not think so. If the concern is of the two divisions, and then everyone else was left in, then they could appoint who ever they wished. They could even appoint commissioners. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wanted to leave it as it is, with only the Division of Elections. Her attitude was that they get trust back into the system. Many rules have not been followed, so they should only get the division people out of it. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved to amend that it would be a Division of Election employee instead of a state employee. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER objected, so Chair James asked for a roll call vote. Representatives Ivan, Porter, Ogan, James voted against the amendment. Representatives Robinson and Willis voted in favor of the amendment. Being 4-2 against the amendment, the amendment failed. Number 150 CHAIR JAMES said the CS was before the committee. They amended it conceptually in Section 2, to provide for two lists. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked to go off the record for a few minutes. Chair James agreed to have an at ease. CHAIR JAMES called the meeting back to order and asked what the committee wished to do with this bill. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved that they move from committee with individual recommendations and fiscal notes as attached, CS for HB 211, Version G, as amended. There being no objection, CS, Version G, for HB 211 passed out of committee. SB 5 - ELECTION BALLOTS CHAIR JAMES said they would go back to revisit SB 5. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that he believed both proposed amendments for identified M-4 and M-3 were acceptable as written. He moved that amendment M-3 be identified as Amendment 1, and move its adoption. Then he stopped and said he was getting ahead of things. Representative Porter then moved House CS for CS for SB 5, work draft Version K, as the committees work draft. There being no objection, the motion passed. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER then moved to identify M.3 dated 4/3/95 as Amendment 1, and move its adoption. There being no objections, the motion passed: Amendment 1 was approved. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER then moved that they identify amendment M.4 dated 4/3/95 as Amendment 2, and move its adoption. There being no objections, the motion passed: Amendment 2 was adopted. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved Amendment 3, to removed or delete the two appropriate sections, Section 2 and Section 3. Hearing no objections, the motion passed and Amendment 3 was approved. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to pass from committee with individual recommendations and fiscal notes as attached, House CS for CS for SB 5, Version K, as amended. MR. FINK asked the committee that they again consider the resolution to change the title, which will now be necessitated. CHAIR JAMES asked if there was any objection to moving the bill out. Hearing no objections House CS for CS for SB 5, Version K, was passed. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER then moved that the committee adopt and move from committee the HCR, unnumbered /A, dated 3/27/95. There were no objections, so HCR unnumbered /A, dated 3/27/95 passed. Number 197 CHAIR JAMES said that concludes the election bills. She said they would leave HB 232 and HB 267 to begin the Thursday, April 6, meeting. Then she said she had a request from Representative Rokeberg to waive an act prohibiting certain amplified sounds from automobiles and providing for an effective date. There was no fiscal note. It had a further referral to Health, Education and Social Services, and Judiciary. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked what certain sounds they were talking about. CHAIR JAMES explained the bill said if the motor vehicle sound amplified system was audible outside of the motor vehicle. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked about playing music on a nice sunny day and your favorite Beach Boy tune came on. CHAIR JAMES said she was not asking them about the bill, she wanted to know if they want to hear it or waive it. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said it sounds like he would want to hear it, but out of respect for Representative Rokeberg he said he would not object. Number 205 CHAIR JAMES asked if anyone objected to waiving the bill from State Affairs. There being no objections the bill was waived out of State Affairs. ADJOURNMENT CHAIR JAMES adjourned the meeting at 10:00 a.m.