Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/04/1995 08:07 AM House STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                    
 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                                 
 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                    
 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              
 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              
 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                   
 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                  
 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             
 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             
 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                   
 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               
 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           
 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            
 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            
 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                       
 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                      
 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            
 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                
 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            
 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                        
 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               
 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           
 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.                                                                
 CHAIR JAMES adjourned the meeting at 10:00 a.m.                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects