Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

03/16/2017 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 10 min. After Recess --
+ Presentation: Vote by Mail by the Anchorage TELECONFERENCED
Municipal Clerk's Office
*+ HB 175 US PRESIDENT ELECT. POPULAR VOTE COMPACT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 163 DPS LAW ENFORCE. SVCS: AGREEMENTS/FEES TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 1 ELECTION REGISTRATION AND VOTING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 16, 2017                                                                                         
                           4:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chair                                                                                   
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Andy Josephson (alternate)                                                                                       
Representative Chuck Kopp (alternate)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 175                                                                                                              
"An Act  ratifying an interstate  compact to elect  the President                                                               
and  Vice-President  of the  United  States  by national  popular                                                               
vote; and  making related changes  to statutes applicable  to the                                                               
selection by voters of electors  for candidates for President and                                                               
Vice- President of  the United States and to the  duties of those                                                               
electors."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 1                                                                                                                
"An  Act   relating  to  absentee   voting,  voting,   and  voter                                                               
registration;  relating  to  early   voting  locations  at  which                                                               
persons  may   vote  absentee  ballots;  and   providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 163                                                                                                              
"An  Act authorizing  the Department  of Public  Safety to  enter                                                               
into   agreements  with   nonprofit  regional   corporations  and                                                               
federal,  tribal, and  local government  agencies to  provide law                                                               
enforcement  services;  authorizing   the  Department  of  Public                                                               
Safety to collect fees for  certain law enforcement services; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 175                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: US PRESIDENT ELECT. COMPACT: POPULAR VOTE                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) FANSLER                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
03/13/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/13/17       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/16/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 1                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: ELECTION REGISTRATION AND VOTING                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TUCK                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/18/17       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/17                                                                                
01/18/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/17       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/23/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/23/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/23/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/28/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/28/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/28/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/07/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/07/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/07/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/09/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/09/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/09/17       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/14/17       (H)       STA AT 5:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/14/17       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/16/17       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JILL YORDY, Staff                                                                                                               
Representative Zach Fansler                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 175 on behalf of                                                                            
Representative Fansler, prime sponsor.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BARRY FADEM, President                                                                                                          
National Popular Vote                                                                                                           
Los Altos, California                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 175.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:31:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS  called  the  House State  Affairs                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    4:32   p.m.                                                               
Representatives LeDoux, Tuck, Wool, Birch, Johnson, and Kreiss-                                                                 
Tomkins were present at the call to order.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
        HB 175-US PRESIDENT ELECT. COMPACT: POPULAR VOTE                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:33:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL NO.  175, "An  Act ratifying  an interstate                                                               
compact to elect  the President and Vice-President  of the United                                                               
States by  national popular vote;  and making related  changes to                                                               
statutes applicable  to the selection  by voters of  electors for                                                               
candidates for President and Vice-President  of the United States                                                               
and to the duties of those electors."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:33:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JILL  YORDY, Staff,  Representative  Zach  Fansler, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented  HB  175   on  behalf  of  Representative                                                               
Fansler,  prime sponsor.   She  referred to  HB 175  as the  U.S.                                                               
Presidential  Election Compact,  which is  commonly known  as the                                                               
National Popular  Vote bill.  She  asserted that HB 175  "gets to                                                               
the  core" of  what  a vote  means:    voting is  a  right and  a                                                               
responsibility of each citizen; it  is how citizens most directly                                                               
make their voices  heard in the decision-making  processes of the                                                               
country.   She  maintained that  voting  is a  sacred right,  for                                                               
which many  men and women have  died, and many have  struggled to                                                               
gain that right.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. YORDY  offered that  there needs to  be a  reciprocation from                                                               
the [election]  system to voters  - a  trust that every  vote has                                                               
equal weight and consideration in  electing the country's highest                                                               
official.    She opined  that  the  current system  favors  swing                                                               
states, in  which there is  nearly an equal internal  division of                                                               
voter  preference  and  a   winner-take-all  method  of  awarding                                                               
electoral votes.  She said that  Alaska is not a swing state, and                                                               
under  the  current system,  its  votes  are consistently  under-                                                               
valued.   She maintained that  the proposed legislation  is being                                                               
introduced to start a conversation  here in Alaska about ensuring                                                               
that every vote is equal.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. YORDY stated  that HB 175 would ratify a  compact intended to                                                               
grant  the presidency  to  the candidate  who  receives the  most                                                               
votes nationwide  by allocating Alaska's electoral  votes to that                                                               
candidate.    The compact  would  only  take effect  when  states                                                               
representing a majority  of the nation's electoral votes  - 270 -                                                               
have individually ratified the compact.   Currently 10 states and                                                               
the   District   of   Columbia  have   ratified   this   compact,                                                               
representing  a  combined  total  of 165  electoral  votes.    An                                                               
additional 15 states  have passed the National  Popular Vote bill                                                               
in at least one legislative body.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:36:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARRY FADEM, President, National  Popular Vote, testified that he                                                               
believes there  are specific benefits  to Alaska of  the National                                                               
Popular Vote  interstate compact.   He  stated that  the Founding                                                               
Fathers,  in Article  Two, Section  I of  the U.S.  Constitution,                                                               
gave the people  of Alaska the exclusive right to  decide how the                                                               
electoral votes  of Alaska should be  awarded.  He said  that the                                                               
question  for Alaskans  to  answer is  "What  system of  awarding                                                               
electoral votes  is in the  best interest of Alaskans  and Alaska                                                               
voters?"   He expressed  his belief that  Alaska voters  would be                                                               
much better off under National Popular Vote.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM  cited four specific  positive benefits to  Alaska that                                                               
he believes would  occur under National Popular Vote.   The first                                                               
benefit would  be that Alaska's  votes for the  U.S. presidential                                                               
candidate would count.  He stated  that a vote in Beaver, Alaska,                                                               
a village of 60 residents  located above the Arctic Circle, would                                                               
count just as much as a  vote in Miami, Florida, or Canton, Ohio.                                                               
He attested that a resident of  Beaver would know, on the morning                                                               
after the  election, that his/her  vote was included in  the vote                                                               
totals.  He opined that for  the first time an Alaska voter would                                                               
understand that  his/her vote for  the U.S. President  really did                                                               
count.  He  mentioned that a side benefit would  be that Alaskans                                                               
would  vote before  the  television stations  on  the East  Coast                                                               
declared the  winner.   He attested  that under  National Popular                                                               
Vote, the winner of the election  would not be declared until all                                                               
the votes were counted in all 50 states.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM stated that the  second significant benefit of National                                                               
Popular Vote to Alaska voters  would be that the candidates would                                                               
campaign in  all 50 states.   He said that in  the 2016 election,                                                               
94 percent  of all  election events  occurred in  12 states.   He                                                               
added that  38 states, including  Alaska, did not  participate in                                                               
the  presidential election.   He  maintained that  under National                                                               
Popular  Vote  there  would  be campaign  activities  in  all  50                                                               
states.   He  said  that  since all  states  have television  and                                                               
radio, every voter  in every state would have  the opportunity to                                                               
hear the  presidential candidates  talk about  issues.   He added                                                               
that more  importantly, in the  2016 election,  neither candidate                                                               
of  either party  mentioned the  word "environment."   He  opined                                                               
that if a presidential candidate  is campaigning in Pennsylvania,                                                               
Wisconsin,  Michigan, and  the Rust  Belt, he/she  does not  talk                                                               
about the  environment; if  the candidate  is not  campaigning in                                                               
states like Alaska, California,  Idaho, Wyoming, and other states                                                               
that  care about  the environment,  that creates  a situation  in                                                               
which  presidential candidates  don't  come to  Alaska and  don't                                                               
talk about issues relevant to  Alaska voters.  He maintained that                                                               
under  National  Popular  Vote,  Alaskans  would  be  exposed  to                                                               
campaign  issues  and  learn  about   what  the  candidates  were                                                               
offering.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:40:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FADEM  stated  that  both   major  national  parties  "pump"                                                               
millions of  dollars into the  12 "battleground" states  to build                                                               
infrastructure and for grass-roots activities.   He said that the                                                               
third positive  effect of  National Popular Vote  would be  a 50-                                                               
state  campaign,   in  which  the  national   parties  would  re-                                                               
distribute  that  money  to  all  50 states;  there  would  be  a                                                               
tremendous increase  in grass-roots activities in  all 50 states.                                                               
He maintained that the presidential  election is the one with the                                                               
most  "sizzle"  -  the  one  that gets  everyone  involved.    He                                                               
asserted that  the infrastructure  built for that  campaign would                                                               
last four years.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM  cited, for the  fourth positive effect, that  in 2012,                                                               
$2.1  million were  raised  by both  major  political parties  in                                                               
Alaska.   He expressed his belief  that every dime of  that money                                                               
was exported  to the battleground  states.  He asked,  "Why would                                                               
you spend money  raised in Alaska to inform  Alaskan voters, when                                                               
it's already predetermined  how Alaskans are going to  vote?"  He                                                               
opined that for  these four reasons, National  Popular Vote would                                                               
be advantageous for Alaskans.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM mentioned  one other reason that  National Popular Vote                                                               
would be advantageous  to Alaska outside of  the campaign itself.                                                               
He asserted that  data shows that "battleground  states do better                                                               
with  the President  of the  United States  than non-battleground                                                               
states."     Battleground  states  receive  seven   percent  more                                                               
presidentially-controlled   grants;   twice  as   many   disaster                                                               
declarations;  and  numerous  other favorable  actions  from  the                                                               
President.  He  added that Alaska competes with  other states for                                                               
presidential attention on issues  and projects that are important                                                               
to residents.   He said  that if  every state was  a battleground                                                               
state,  states  would  not  get  preference  simply  because  the                                                               
President  of the  United States  needs  their vote  in the  next                                                               
election.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:42:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FADEM relayed  to  the committee  the  issues most  commonly                                                               
cited as concerns regarding National  Popular Vote.  He said that                                                               
the  issue  he  hears  most  often is  that  the  current  system                                                               
benefits  small  states, and  the  Founding  Fathers set  up  the                                                               
Electoral College to benefit small states.   He said there are 13                                                               
small states  with four electoral  votes or less; six  are "red";                                                               
six  are "blue";  and the  only small  battleground state  is New                                                               
Hampshire.  He mentioned that  in 2016, New Hampshire received 21                                                               
presidential campaign visits; the  other 12 states received none.                                                               
He added that  this has been the practice for  the last 40 years,                                                               
and  it is  not going  to  change.   He asserted  that under  the                                                               
current system, small states are  among the most "punished" group                                                               
of states  in the country.   He pointed  out that three  of these                                                               
small states -  Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont  - have adopted                                                               
the National  Popular Vote  compact, along  with the  District of                                                               
Columbia.  He  asserted that the idea that the  current system is                                                               
helpful to small states is absolutely factually wrong.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM mentioned  that the second issue that  has been brought                                                               
up regarding  National Popular Vote  is the possibility  that all                                                               
the campaigning  would be confined  to large cities, such  as Los                                                               
Angeles and  New York.  He  said that evidence shows  that not to                                                               
be true.   He offered that  the 50 largest cities  in the country                                                               
comprise only  15 percent  of the population;  15 percent  of the                                                               
country  is  rural;  and  70  percent of  the  population  is  in                                                               
suburban  areas.   He maintained  that big  cities don't  control                                                               
elections currently.   He said that as an example,  in 2012 there                                                               
were  73 visits  to  Ohio  by the  presidential  candidates.   He                                                               
maintained that currently campaigns do  not just visit the cities                                                               
in  a state  but visit  everywhere.   He added  that the  cost of                                                               
television and  radio advertising  drops dramatically  from urban                                                               
to rural areas.   He cited that  media cost per vote  in New York                                                               
City is 5.2  cents; in Indianapolis it is 4.0  cents; and in Fort                                                               
Smith, Arkansas it is 3.0 cents.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM stated that another  issue commonly cited as a possible                                                               
consequence  of  National  Popular  Vote is  that  of  a  lengthy                                                               
election  vote recount  leading  to months  of  uncertainty.   He                                                               
maintained that  would not occur  because there is a  federal law                                                               
that   requires  every   state   to  submit   a  certificate   of                                                               
ascertainment by "safe harbor" day,  which is six days before the                                                               
Electoral College meets in December,  and all states must provide                                                               
a statement of  the count by that  day.  He attested  that it was                                                               
that rule  which allowed  the Supreme Court  to bar  Florida from                                                               
performing additional recounts in the 2000 election.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:47:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  how HB  175 would  affect Alaska's                                                               
congressional representation in Congress.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FADEM  answered  that the  proposed  legislation  would  not                                                               
affect  congressional  representation  but   only  the  vote  for                                                               
President.   He added that he  is often asked, "Why  don't you do                                                               
this  the right  way?"   He  explained that  "the  right way"  is                                                               
defined by many as a  federal constitutional amendment to abolish                                                               
the Electoral  College.  He  maintained that to  achieve National                                                               
Popular Vote, it is not necessary  to amend the Constitution.  He                                                               
asserted that  the proposed legislation represents  a state-based                                                               
solution  for  state legislatures  to  respect  the will  of  the                                                               
people for National  Popular Vote, and the  Founding Fathers gave                                                               
the states the tools and the exclusive right to do that.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:48:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH stated that  he likes the Electoral College:                                                               
it is good  for Alaska; all states are on  equal footing with two                                                               
senators; and  it offers finality  in elections.  He  opined that                                                               
the level  of election activity  would not change.   He expressed                                                               
his view that the "winner  take all" approach demonstrates "we're                                                               
all in."   He  questioned how the  proposed legislation  would be                                                               
constructive and helpful to Alaska.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FADEM asserted  that the  proposed legislation  affects only                                                               
one's   representation  in   the  presidential   election.     He                                                               
questioned the  conclusion that Alaska  has been treated  well in                                                               
the Electoral  College, since the  Alaska voter has never  been a                                                               
player in  the presidential election.   He maintained  that under                                                               
National Popular  Vote, every  vote in  every state  would count,                                                               
and the  political parties would  have a greater interest  in the                                                               
over 520,000  registered voters  in Alaska.   He said  that under                                                               
the current  system, the  political parties  have no  interest in                                                               
the Alaskan vote,  since the state's electoral  votes are already                                                               
decided.    He  added  that  Alaska has  zero  influence  on  the                                                               
presidential  election, and  that is  what National  Popular Vote                                                               
would change.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH   asked  how   the  outcome  of   the  last                                                               
presidential  election would  have  been  influenced if  National                                                               
Popular Vote was in place rather than the current system.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM replied that he  has great respect for President Donald                                                               
Trump's  comment that  if the  National Popular  Vote system  had                                                               
been in  place, he would  have campaigned differently.   He added                                                               
that President  Trump did not campaign  in his home state  of New                                                               
York.   Mr.  Fadem conceded  that  if the  National Popular  Vote                                                               
system had  been in  place, President  Trump might  have received                                                               
more votes  on a national popular  basis.  He stated  that no one                                                               
could  have  anticipated who  would  have  won under  a  National                                                               
Popular Vote,  because the  campaign was  not conducted  for that                                                               
type of election.  He  emphasized that he respects that President                                                               
Trump won  the presidency under the  rules in place at  the time,                                                               
and he  is the  absolute justified  winner in  the election.   He                                                               
offered  that  all Americans  and  even  President Trump  himself                                                               
would probably like to know if  President Trump could win in 2020                                                               
under the National Popular Vote system with a 50 state campaign.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked what the  result of this last election                                                               
would have been if there had been a National Popular Vote.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM  responded that  if National Popular  Vote had  been in                                                               
place for  the last election,  the electoral votes of  the states                                                               
that joined  the compact  would have  gone to  the winner  of the                                                               
national popular  vote, who was  Hillary Clinton.   He reiterated                                                               
that was not the system that was  in place, and there wasn't a 50                                                               
state campaign.  He said  that both candidates only campaigned in                                                               
12 states, so it is unknown  what would have happened if they had                                                               
campaigned  in all  50 states  with the  winner being  decided by                                                               
popular vote.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:54:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked if there  is a deadline for states to                                                               
adopt the compact  to preserve the participation  of those states                                                               
that have already adopted it.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM  replied that there is  no time limit.   For the states                                                               
that have  passed National  Popular Vote  legislation, it  is now                                                               
law,  but the  law stipulates  that it  does not  go into  effect                                                               
until the  compact goes  into effect; therefore,  the law  has no                                                               
"shelf life."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:55:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL suggested  that  if he  were a  presidential                                                               
candidate  under National  Popular  Vote, he  would  go to  large                                                               
population centers to reach large groups  of people.  He asked if                                                               
the intent of  the Electoral College was to give  rural places as                                                               
much influence as the large urban power centers.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.   FADEM  offered   that  when   the  Electoral   College  was                                                               
established,  the country  was very  different;  the country  was                                                               
rural, and  only ten percent  of Americans  lived in cities.   He                                                               
said that the  State of Massachusetts has changed  how it rewards                                                               
its electoral  votes 11 times in  its history as a  state, ending                                                               
up with National Popular Vote.   He opined that the brilliance of                                                               
the founding  fathers was  in giving  the state  legislatures the                                                               
right  to make  the decision.   He  said that  state legislatures                                                               
change  as times,  feelings, and  needs change.   He  pointed out                                                               
that the  real presidential campaigns  are conducted  through the                                                               
media,  and   there  are  television  and   radio  advertisements                                                               
everywhere.   He reiterated that  under National Popular  Vote, a                                                               
vote in Beaver,  Alaska, would be equal to a  vote cast in Miami,                                                               
Florida;  no state  or  area would  be  "written off";  campaigns                                                               
would be conducted in urban, suburban, and rural areas.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:59:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  for confirmation  that  the  current                                                               
Electoral  College  system  allows   the  state  legislatures  to                                                               
determine independently  the system  they will  be under  and Mr.                                                               
Fadem  is not  advocating for  abolishing the  Electoral College.                                                               
He added that he is glad  Alaska is not inundated with television                                                               
advertisements.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM said  that the Electoral College is  currently a rubber                                                               
stamp for 50  individual state votes, and  under National Popular                                                               
Vote,  the Electoral  College would  be  a rubber  stamp for  the                                                               
national  popular  vote.     He  maintained  that   a  number  of                                                               
Republican legislators  have supported  National Popular  Vote in                                                               
their  states.   He  said  that  in  Arizona, two-thirds  of  the                                                               
Republicans  in the  Arizona House  of  Representatives and  two-                                                               
thirds of the  Democrats in the House voted  for National Popular                                                               
Vote.   He  said that  a number  of those  Republican legislators                                                               
confirmed that  they would  never vote  to abolish  the Electoral                                                               
College  for  the reason  Representative  Wool  cited:   a  state                                                               
legislature would  not want to give  up a power granted  to it by                                                               
the founding fathers.  He  maintained that the right to determine                                                               
the system  by which  it awards Electoral  College votes  and the                                                               
right  to  enter interstate  compacts  are  two of  the  explicit                                                               
rights given  states.   He offered that  if there  are unintended                                                               
consequences  under  the  National   Popular  Vote  system,  then                                                               
legislatures can  choose to  withdraw from the  compact.   If the                                                               
Electoral  College  was  abolished and  the  consequences  proved                                                               
unpopular,  it would  take  another  constitutional amendment  to                                                               
change  it.    He  mentioned  that  the  last  amendment  to  the                                                               
constitution that was even close  to being ratified was the Equal                                                               
Rights Amendment (ERA) initiative in the 1970s.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:01:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked  Mr. Fadem to describe  in more detail                                                               
how  the campaign  visits  to Ohio  were  distributed across  the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM stated that in  the 2004 presidential campaign, if John                                                               
Kerry had received  50,000 more votes in Ohio, he  would have won                                                               
Ohio  and thus,  the presidency.   He  maintained that  Mr. Kerry                                                               
only campaigned in the large  cities, whereas President George W.                                                               
Bush campaigned  in every part  of the  state.  He  attested that                                                               
the  public knows  how candidates  would campaign  in a  50 state                                                               
campaign,  because it  knows  what happens  currently  in the  12                                                               
battleground  states.    He maintained  that  candidates  do  not                                                               
campaign just  in the large  cities, because large cities  do not                                                               
control a state's election.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:03:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  why,  if every  vote  is equal,  a                                                               
presidential candidate would visit  Beaver, Alaska, as opposed to                                                               
a large urban center.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM responded that in  terms of a presidential campaign, it                                                               
is not the  visit but the media campaign that  allows Alaskans to                                                               
hear the  candidates talk about  issues.  He maintained  that the                                                               
proposed legislation  is important for  the Alaska voter  to know                                                               
that  his/her vote  counts.   He said  that currently  it doesn't                                                               
count.   He  offered  that under  National  Popular Vote,  Alaska                                                               
voters would see that their votes counted and meant something.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON expressed  that  she felt  that her  vote                                                               
counted  in the  last  election.   She  mentioned  that the  last                                                               
President to have  visited Palmer was President  John F. Kennedy,                                                               
who visited before he was President.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS suggested that  under National Popular Vote,                                                               
presidential candidates  would offer their stance  on issues such                                                               
as  the King  Cove Road  or the  Arctic National  Wildlife Refuge                                                               
(ANWR).                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:06:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX said  she is convinced that if  she owned a                                                               
newspaper or  television station, National Popular  Vote would be                                                               
advantageous.  She asked why a  media campaign in Alaska would be                                                               
advantageous,   since  issues   are  not   really  discussed   in                                                               
presidential campaign television advertisements.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FADEM  asserted  that  U.S.  voters  do  want  to  hear  the                                                               
advertisements  and  do  want  to  hear about  the  issues.    He                                                               
maintained  that  the  voters  with  whom  his  organization  has                                                               
communicated  and those  supporting  National  Popular Vote  care                                                               
passionately  about  the  country   and  about  the  presidential                                                               
election.   They  feel that  they are  being punished  because of                                                               
where  they live;  that geography  has  determined whether  their                                                               
vote counts.  He mentioned that  National Popular Vote was one of                                                               
the  first goals  on the  League of  Women Voters  (LWV) original                                                               
charter in 1920.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:08:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  YORDY  pointed  out  that  there  are  many  more  resources                                                               
utilized  in   a  presidential  campaign  than   just  radio  and                                                               
television,  which  is  especially  important  in  Alaska.    She                                                               
maintained  that campaign  volunteers going  door-to-door is  how                                                               
the  presidential campaigns  get  feedback  directly from  Alaska                                                               
voters about what  matters in Alaska.  She maintained  that it is                                                               
when every vote has the same  weight on a national scale that the                                                               
campaign workers are  actually interested in what  the voters are                                                               
saying.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:09:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK offered  that under  National Popular  Vote,                                                               
the  presidential  candidate  would   be  visiting  Fairbanks  or                                                               
Anchorage rather than  Beaver.  He stated that  under the current                                                               
system,  Alaska's issues  get no  attention from  the candidates.                                                               
He  offered   that  even  with   President  George  W.   Bush,  a                                                               
Republican-led U.S.  Senate, and  a Republican-led U.S.  House of                                                               
Representatives,   ANWR  still   received  no   attention.     He                                                               
maintained that  the proposed legislation  is not just  about the                                                               
vote, but  about the overall  attention to Alaska's  concerns and                                                               
having  its issues  addressed.   He suggested  that the  proposed                                                               
system would create a shift in how campaigns are run.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:11:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH stated  that his  concern is  that Alaska's                                                               
tiny population  of 750,000  would get "lost  in the  noise," and                                                               
the campaigns  would focus on New  York and California.   He said                                                               
that  he  was  happy  with  the election's  outcome,  and  he  is                                                               
concerned  that National  Popular  Vote  would diminish  Alaska's                                                               
ability to have an impact on a presidential election.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:13:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked how Alaska  and any other states may be                                                               
affected  if they  don't join  the compact  but there  are enough                                                               
other  states in  the  compact to  reach  the 270-electoral  vote                                                               
threshold.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM  responded that  states not  joining the  compact would                                                               
proceed as  usual, and the block  of 270 votes would  be cast for                                                               
the candidate receiving  the popular vote.   He/she would receive                                                               
any  additional  votes  from  any other  states  that  voted  for                                                               
him/her.   He emphasized that  the block of 270  votes guarantees                                                               
that the candidate receiving it becomes President.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL suggested  that  since the  270 votes  would                                                               
reflect the  popular vote, the votes  of a state not  joining the                                                               
compact would only count in the  sense that it contributes to the                                                               
popular vote.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. FADEM  agreed and said  that the  popular votes are  added to                                                               
the  50 state  total, and  for a  state not  in the  compact, the                                                               
electoral vote  goes to the  candidate winning the most  votes in                                                               
that state.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK speculated  that because  of what  Mr. Fadem                                                               
just stated,  more states will want  to be in the  compact as the                                                               
number of votes represented in the compact approaches 270.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[HB 175 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
             HB 1-ELECTION REGISTRATION AND VOTING                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:15:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the final  order of business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 1, "An Act relating  to absentee voting,                                                               
voting,  and   voter  registration;  relating  to   early  voting                                                               
locations  at  which  persons  may  vote  absentee  ballots;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:15:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HB 1,  Version 30-LS0070\O, Bullard, 3/14/17,                                                               
as a work draft.  There  being no objection, Version O was before                                                               
the committee as a work draft.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
[HB 1 was held over.]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:16:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee  meeting was adjourned  at 5:16                                                               
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB001 Version O 3.14.17.pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 1
HB 175 Sectional Analysis 3-13-17.pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB0175A.pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB 175 Supplemental Information.pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB175 Sponsor Statement 3-13-17.pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB 175 Hearing Request for House State Affairs 3-14-17.pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB 175 Legal Memo 3-8-17.pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB 175 Letter on Congressional Consent 3-10-17.pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB 175 Letters of Support.pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB175 Fiscal Note 3.16.17.pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB175 Letter of Support League Women Voters 3.16.17.docx HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB175 Letter of Support 3.20.17.docx HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB175 Letters of Support 3.20.17 (1).pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175
HB175 Letter of Support League Women Voters 3.16.17 (1).pdf HSTA 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 175