Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

04/26/2018 03:15 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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03:18:45 PM Start
03:18:50 PM Presentation on Vote by Mail Municipal Election
03:34:18 PM Presentation by the Division of Elections: 2017 Fiscal & Policy Challenges
04:24:45 PM HB408
04:58:46 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
+ Approval of introduction of potential committee TELECONFERENCED
<Above Item Removed from Agenda>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 26, 2018                                                                                         
                           3:18 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chair                                                                                   
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Vice Chair                                                                                     
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Andy Josephson (alternate)                                                                                       
Representative Chuck Kopp (alternate)                                                                                           
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION ON VOTE BY MAIL MUNICIPAL ELECTION                                                                                 
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PRESENTATION BY THE DIVISION OF ELECTIONS:  2017 FISCAL & POLICY                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 408                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to revocation of a driver's license."                                                                          
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
Approval of introduction of potential committee legislation                                                                     
     - REMOVED FROM AGENDA                                                                                                      
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 408                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REVOCATION OF DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
04/04/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/04/18       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/26/18       (H)       STA AT 3:15 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
BARBARA JONES, Municipal Clerk;                                                                                                 
Election Administrator                                                                                                          
Municipality of Anchorage                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented results of Anchorage's first vote                                                              
by mail municipal election.                                                                                                     
JOSIE BAHNKE, Director                                                                                                          
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Elections                                                                                                           
Office of the Lieutenant Governor                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented a PowerPoint on 2017 Fiscal &                                                                  
Policy Challenges titled, "Decide Alaska's Future".                                                                             
BRIAN JACKSON, Elections Program Manager                                                                                        
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Elections                                                                                                           
Office of the Lieutenant Governor                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the PowerPoint on                                                              
2017 Fiscal & Policy Challenges titled, "Decide Alaska's                                                                        
GREG SMITH, Staff                                                                                                               
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the discussion of                                                              
HB 409.                                                                                                                         
SEAN HOOPER                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 408.                                                                  
NANCY MEADE, General Counsel                                                                                                    
Administrative Staff                                                                                                            
Office of the Administrative Director                                                                                           
Alaska Court System (ACS)                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB
MARLA THOMSON, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)                                                                                                
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing on HB
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:18:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS  called  the  House State  Affairs                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:18   p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Kreiss-Tomkins,  LeDoux,  Birch, and  Tuck  were                                                               
present at  the call  to order.   Representative Wool  arrived as                                                               
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
^PRESENTATION ON VOTE BY MAIL MUNICIPAL ELECTION                                                                                
        PRESENTATION ON VOTE BY MAIL MUNICIPAL ELECTION                                                                     
3:18:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the first  order of business                                                               
would be a presentation on Vote by Mail.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  referred  to  a  document  titled                                                               
"Certification of  the April 3, 2018  Regular Municipal Election"                                                               
in members' packets.                                                                                                            
3:20:01 PM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA   JONES,   Municipal   Clerk;   Election   Administrator,                                                               
Municipality  of  Anchorage,  stated  that  the  Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage (MOA) just  finished its first official  "Vote by Mail"                                                               
election for a regular municipal election.                                                                                      
MS.  JONES  explained that  the  MOA  mailed 194,000  packets  to                                                               
registered  municipal  voters  with  the final  count  of  79,295                                                               
ballots cast.   She  applauded the  MOA Municipal  Clerk's office                                                               
for doing  a great job  with its outreach and  education efforts.                                                               
As a result,  she did not receive any calls  from people who were                                                               
unaware the election was a  "vote by mail" process, although some                                                               
people called to  express disappointment that the  election was a                                                               
"vote by mail" process.                                                                                                         
MS. JONES explained  the election process, such that  the MOA had                                                               
12 drop boxes  placed throughout the municipality  for voters who                                                               
did  not wish  to use  the United  States Postal  Service (USPS).                                                               
The MOA  also had five  accessible "vote centers" for  people who                                                               
chose not to vote  by mail ballot or did not  receive a ballot in                                                               
the mail.                                                                                                                       
3:21:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  JONES  provided  voting statistics;  that  MOA  voters  cast                                                               
12,000  ballots from  the accessible  vote centers;  however, the                                                               
majority of  the ballots  cast were  via the USPS.   The  MOA had                                                               
anticipated that  people's preference  would be  to use  the drop                                                               
boxes rather  than the  USPS, so  it was  surprising to  find the                                                               
majority of people voted by mail.                                                                                               
MS. JONES  thanked the  State of  Alaska [Division  of Elections]                                                               
for  its  assistance,  including  providing voter  data  and  the                                                               
processes  to ensure  the  MOA obtained  voter  signatures.   The                                                               
division  rejected  only  one  ballot for  lack  of  a  reference                                                               
signature,  she said.   She  related that  the Municipal  Clerk's                                                               
office met with  the election workers, the  stakeholders, and the                                                               
Anchorage  Municipal  Assembly's  Ethics and  Election  Committee                                                               
about what  comes next.   The Municipal Clerk's Office  will also                                                               
meet  with the  Anchorage Municipal  Assembly in  a work  session                                                               
tomorrow and with the State of Alaska  in May, she said.  The MOA                                                               
has  lots of  plans going  forward and  has recognized  that some                                                               
things  worked, but  other  things  did not,  so  the process  of                                                               
figuring out how to do things differently has begun.                                                                            
3:23:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  asked whether  she could elaborate  on what                                                               
worked,  what  did not  work  and  what the  Anchorage  Municipal                                                               
Clerk's Office would do differently.                                                                                            
MS. JONES  identified the  number one thing  that worked  was the                                                               
MOA's  outreach and  education campaign.   She  acknowledged some                                                               
misunderstandings occurred;  however, most voters  understood the                                                               
instructions for voting;  how to mark their ballot,  to place the                                                               
ballot  in a  security envelope,  and put  the security  envelope                                                               
containing the ballot  into the return envelope.   That seemed to                                                               
work very  well, she said.   She  attributed that success  to the                                                               
PSAs [public service announcements],  the media, including social                                                               
media,  as  well as  conducting  presentations  at the  community                                                               
councils and  for other groups.   She characterized  the outreach                                                               
as being very effective.                                                                                                        
3:24:04 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  JONES  praised  the  election center  and  offered  to  take                                                               
members  on  a tour  if  they  have not  already  done  so.   The                                                               
election center building was a  big, open warehouse, which helped                                                               
to provide a transparent process for the public.                                                                                
MS.  JONES highlighted  issues that  people raised,  such as  the                                                               
drop boxes  were hard to  see in  winter since they  were painted                                                               
white and  snow was  on the ground.   Election  workers requested                                                               
more  computers  to  supplement  the  current  47  computers  the                                                               
election center  had, which recognizes elections  have moved from                                                               
clerical to technological in nature.                                                                                            
3:25:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked  what the MOA would  do differently in                                                               
the future.                                                                                                                     
MS. JONES pointed out that the  recent MOA election was a mayoral                                                               
election  which historically  has a  better voter  turnout.   She                                                               
hoped  to  keep  the  voter   momentum  going  for  the  assembly                                                               
elections  over the  next two  years.   Since  elections are  now                                                               
technology-based elections,  it is important  to ensure  that the                                                               
MOA has the appropriate skill  sets to manage the technology, she                                                               
3:26:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK,  referring  to   her  report,  related  his                                                               
understanding that  194,507 ballot  packages were  sent out.   He                                                               
acknowledged there  were a number  of duplicates and  wondered if                                                               
her report reflected the duplicates.                                                                                            
MS. JONES answered that the  figures do not include the duplicate                                                               
ballot  packages; however,  the number  of duplicates  was a  bit                                                               
misleading.   She explained that  1,400 replacement  ballots were                                                               
sent to  voters who  changed their names  or addresses  using the                                                               
State of  Alaska's voter registration  from March 1 to  March 10.                                                               
In addition, approximately 3,000  replacement and absentee ballot                                                               
packages  were mailed  to voters,  however, she  did not  believe                                                               
those figures were included in her figures [of 194,507).                                                                        
3:28:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked  for  clarification  that  more  than                                                               
194,507 ballot packages were mailed out.                                                                                        
MS.  JONES  answered  that  was   correct;  the  194,507  figures                                                               
reflected  the ballots  mailed  out  on March  13,  2018, by  the                                                               
3:28:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked whether  he understood  correctly that                                                               
more ballots  were cast  by mail.   He  questioned that  since by                                                               
adding  31,000 ballots  retrieved from  ballot boxes  with 12,000                                                               
cast  at the  accessible voting  centers totaled  43,000 ballots,                                                               
which would  be less than 50  percent of the votes  cast by mail,                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
MS. JONES responded  said the figures reflected in  her report do                                                               
not  include ballots  from drop  boxes since  those ballots  were                                                               
considered separately.   She referred to pages 3-4  of her report                                                               
(in  members'  packets),  which  identified  46  percent  of  the                                                               
ballots  had been  returned by  the  USPS, that  38 percent  were                                                               
returned via the secure drop boxes,  and 14 percent were cast via                                                               
the accessible vote centers.                                                                                                    
3:29:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked for  clarification on the  number of                                                               
ballots that were undeliverable.                                                                                                
MS. JONES responded  that she did not provide a  percentage.  She                                                               
stated  that two  figures relate  to  the undeliverable  ballots.                                                               
First,   approximately   218,000   voters  were   registered   in                                                               
Anchorage,   but  22,000   voters   had  a   condition  code   of                                                               
undeliverable,  so  the  MOA only  mailed  out  [194,507]  ballot                                                               
packages.    Second,  after  the MOA  mailed  out  the  [194,507]                                                               
ballots,  an additional  20,000-21,000 ballots  were returned  as                                                               
undeliverable.    Therefore,  the undeliverable  ballots  totaled                                                               
over 40,000 ballots, she said.                                                                                                  
3:30:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX said  she  was trying  to extrapolate  the                                                               
percentage of  undeliverable ballots  based on the  population in                                                               
MS. JONES  answered that  the MOA used  the number  of registered                                                               
voters rather  than the overall  population.  She  clarified that                                                               
about 19.6  percent or basically  20 percent of the  ballots were                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX commented  that was  a pretty  significant                                                               
MS.  JONES acknowledged  that that  the  number of  undeliverable                                                               
ballots  in  voter  registration  database and  was  one  of  the                                                               
aspects  the MOA  did not  expect to  find.   The MOA  mailed out                                                               
208,000 postcards on  January 3, 2018 to  notify Anchorage voters                                                               
of  their current  address  of  record on  file  and some  voters                                                               
responded  [with  updates];  however,   her  office  expected  to                                                               
receive more  responses than  it did.   She advised  members that                                                               
the MOA  worked with  the Alaska Division  of Elections  (DOE) on                                                               
ways  to  educate  voters  and others  about  the  importance  of                                                               
maintaining their correct address in  the state's database and to                                                               
update their  addresses when they  move.  She offered  her belief                                                               
that currently Anchorage has good data going forward.                                                                           
3:33:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX assumed  that the  MOA had  advertised via                                                               
television, radio, and  social media, such as  Facebook about the                                                               
vote  by  mail   election  to  give  the   registered  voters  an                                                               
opportunity to contact the MOA if  they did not receive a ballot.                                                               
She asked whether the MOA did a lot of advertising.                                                                             
MS. JONES answered yes.                                                                                                         
^PRESENTATION  BY  THE DIVISION  OF  ELECTIONS:   2017  FISCAL  &                                                               
POLICY CHALLENGES                                                                                                               
PRESENTATION BY THE DIVISION OF ELECTIONS:  2017 FISCAL & POLICY                                                            
3:34:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would  be a  presentation by  the  Division of  Elections:   2017                                                               
Fiscal & Policy Challenges titled "Decide Alaska's Future".                                                                     
3:34:38 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSIE  BAHNKE, Director,  Central Office,  Division of  Elections                                                               
(DOE), Office of the Lieutenant Governor, introduced herself.                                                                   
BRIAN  JACKSON,   Elections  Program  Manager,   Central  Office,                                                               
Division of  Elections (DOE), Office of  the Lieutenant Governor,                                                               
introduced himself.                                                                                                             
3:35:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BAHNKE   began  a  PowerPoint,  paraphrased   from  prepared                                                               
comments, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
     Thank  you for  the opportunity  to bring  awareness to                                                                    
     the  committee  regarding  activities of  the  Election                                                                    
     Policy Work  Group. I will  be happy to  take questions                                                                    
     following my presentation.                                                                                                 
     In 2015, Lt. Governor  Mallott convened a small working                                                                    
     group to  discuss election  policy issues  and expanded                                                                    
     the Election  Policy Work Group to  continue a dialogue                                                                    
     on making  Alaska's election  system a  effective, cost                                                                    
     efficient  and responsive  to  Alaska  voter needs.  In                                                                    
     January  2017, the  DOE published  the  "2017 Fiscal  &                                                                    
     Policy Challenges" report for  the group which outlines                                                                    
     the   issues   facing   the   division   and   includes                                                                    
     technology,  elections   administration  and  potential                                                                    
     cost savings measures.                                                                                                     
3:36:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BAHNKE  continued a PowerPoint  [slides 1-2]  and paraphrased                                                               
from  prepared   comments,  which   read  as   follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     In its  effort to  address the  issues outlined  in the                                                                    
     report   and   to   advance  policy   discussions   and                                                                    
     recommendations, the  EPWG has held five  meetings from                                                                    
     May  2017- January  2018. These  discussions have  been                                                                    
     facilitated  by  David  Becker   from  the  Center  for                                                                    
     Election Innovation and Research.                                                                                          
MS. BAHNKE  read the Election  Policy Work Group  (EPWG) members,                                                               
which   included   the   Lieutenant  Governor   Mallott,   former                                                               
Lieutenant  Governors  Fran  Ulmer,  Mead  Treadwell,  and  Craig                                                               
Campbell,   and   two   legislators,    one   from   the   House,                                                               
Representative Kreiss-Tomkins,  and one from the  Senate, Senator                                                               
Gary  Stevens; several  city or  borough  clerks from  Ketchikan,                                                               
Juneau,   Kenai-Peninsula  Borough,   and  the   Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage,  Fairbanks  and Bethel.    She  stated the  group  who                                                               
participated has grown over time and currently consists of about                                                                
30 members.                                                                                                                     
3:37:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BAHNKE continued with slide 3, titled "EPWG - Guiding                                                                       
Principles."  She paraphrased from prepared comments, which read                                                                
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
     During  it's first  meeting, the  EPWG agreed  that the                                                                    
     replacement of  our 20 year  old voting system  was the                                                                    
     top priority  for the group  and they  established some                                                                    
     principles  to  guide  its  work  and  recommendations.                                                                    
     These principles include:                                                                                                  
     Maximized    Accessibility:    elections   should    be                                                                    
     accessible   to  all   Alaskans  regardless   of  their                                                                    
     circumstances. If it doesn't  work for rural Alaska, it                                                                    
     doesn't work at all.                                                                                                       
     Cost Effectiveness:  costs must  be contained  in order                                                                    
     to abide by state budgetary constraints.                                                                                   
     Voter  Satisfaction &  Confidence: participating  in an                                                                    
     election should be a  satisfying experience for voters.                                                                    
     Their satisfaction  with and confidence in  the process                                                                    
     is key.                                                                                                                    
     Longevity in  the Solution: any new  system or solution                                                                    
     adopted must endure the test of time.                                                                                      
     Coordination  &  Buy-in:  the DOE,  local  governments,                                                                    
     tribes,  and  other  stakeholders   need  to  agree  on                                                                    
     changes to  Alaska's elections. No  one should  be left                                                                    
     out of the consensus oriented decision-making process.                                                                     
     Security &  Integrity: Alaska's elections  and election                                                                    
     systems must  be designed  with security  and integrity                                                                    
     in  mind.  Election  officials and  voters  alike  must                                                                    
     trust in the systems that are used.                                                                                        
     Voter  Outreach: voters  need to  know how  to interact                                                                    
     with Alaska's  elections. Outreach must be  tailored to                                                                    
     get  them the  information they  need, effectively  and                                                                    
3:40:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BAHNKE  continued with  slide  5,  titled "How  Do  Alaskans                                                               
Vote?"   She paraphrased  from prepared  comments, which  read as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
     In  addition to  establishing  guiding principles,  the                                                                    
     group also  looked at voting  trends. Just to  give you                                                                    
     an  idea,  in the  2016  General  Election, there  were                                                                    
     321,271  ballots  cast for  a  final  turnout of  60.77                                                                    
     percent.   This election  generated a record  number of                                                                    
     voters   who  voted   early,  absentee   or  questioned                                                                    
     ballots;  over  123,000  compared to  about  90,000  in                                                                    
     Approximately  32  percent  of Alaskans  voted  via  an                                                                    
     alternative method in 2016. A  record number of voters,                                                                    
     39,242  voted  early  at  the  regional  office  voting                                                                    
     stations and the division expects  that voting trend to                                                                    
     continue to increase in  future elections. In response,                                                                    
     for 2018, we've  expanded early voting sites  from 5 to                                                                    
     10 locations.                                                                                                              
     Another  factor at  play and  something  that the  EPWG                                                                    
     acknowledged is that the  MOA conducted their municipal                                                                    
     election  entirely   by  mail   and  invested   in  the                                                                    
     infrastructure  specific to  vote  by mail.   With  the                                                                    
     largest municipality  in Alaska going to  vote by mail,                                                                    
     approximately 40  percent of the registered  voters are                                                                    
     now included in vote by mail elections.                                                                                    
3:42:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK asked  whether the  12 percent  early voting                                                               
included in-person absentee voters.                                                                                             
MS.  BAHNKE  answered that  was  included  in  the figures.    In                                                               
further response,  she clarified  "early voting"  figures applied                                                               
to  people who  voted two  weeks prior  to the  election, whether                                                               
they voted  at the  university or at  the absentee  voting center                                                               
[Bethel area] in Tuntutuliak.                                                                                                   
3:43:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL asked  for  clarification on  the 1  percent                                                               
touch screen.                                                                                                                   
MS. BAHNKE answered that under  the federal Help America Vote Act                                                               
(HAVA)  [2002],  the  state  was   required  to  use  the  direct                                                               
recording devices in  each polling place for  those with language                                                               
assistance  needs,  audio, or  those  with  disabilities.   These                                                               
devices produce a paper record, she said.                                                                                       
3:44:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BAHNKE  proceeded with slides  5-7, titled  "Exploring Ballot                                                               
Delivery  Systems."    She paraphrased  from  prepared  comments,                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     There are three scenarios the EPWG has discussed.                                                                          
     In scenario one, Alaskans would  keep voting the way it                                                                    
     is now. (Slide included  bullets) Paper ballot precinct                                                                    
     based.   441  precinct  polling places  statewide.   No                                                                    
     statutory or procedural changes  to consider.  Absentee                                                                    
     and  Early   Voting  are  also  available.     Outright                                                                    
     purchase - $6.77M plush $489k Annual License/Warranty.                                                                     
3:45:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  for  clarification  on  the  DOE's                                                               
process for  voters who live in  an area without a  polling place                                                               
and if  the division  mails ballots  to them  or if  these voters                                                               
must request the ballots.                                                                                                       
MS.  BAHNKE  answered that  the  division  has a  designation  of                                                               
"permanent absentee voter" for those  living in remote areas such                                                               
as  in Skwentna,  which is  an area  consisting of  all permanent                                                               
absentee voters.   These residents  automatically are  sent their                                                               
ballots  by  mail.    She  added  that  in  even  numbered  years                                                               
absentee-in-person voters  can sign up  to receive  their ballots                                                               
on January 1 of the election year, but they must apply.                                                                         
3:46:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   asked  whether   anyone  can   become  a                                                               
permanent absentee voter.                                                                                                       
MS. BAHNKE was unsure.  She offered to research it.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  answered no; which  was the reason HB  1 was                                                               
introduced.  The  proposed bill would allow a  person to register                                                               
to vote by mail and check  off a box to automatically continue to                                                               
receive  their  vote by  mail  ballots;  however, currently  that                                                               
process is not available.                                                                                                       
3:46:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  wondered if  the division had  criteria in                                                               
place for permanent absentee status.                                                                                            
MS.  BAHNKE briefly  described the  process,  that someone  would                                                               
apply for the status and the division subsequently evaluate it.                                                                 
3:47:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS mentioned one of  his precincts on Prince of                                                               
Wales  Island  consists  of small  communities,  including  Whale                                                               
Pass, Edna  Bay, Port Protection, and  Coffman Cove.  He  was not                                                               
aware of any  [polling places] in that vicinity  on election day.                                                               
He wondered if  that was the type of precinct  which is comprised                                                               
entirely of permanent absentee voters.                                                                                          
MS. BAHNKE answered that was correct.                                                                                           
3:48:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  remarked that  the  MOA  had great  voter                                                               
turnout with  its recent  municipal vote by  mail election.   She                                                               
wondered if the  voting turnout in areas  with permanent absentee                                                               
voters was  typically higher than similarly  situated places with                                                               
a polling place.                                                                                                                
MS.  BAHNKE  stated that  the  DOE  contacts  some of  its  rural                                                               
education  attendance areas  by  mail.   She  recalled that  when                                                               
Whale Pass  incorporated in 2017,  the process was  conducted all                                                               
by mail.  She said the  division would need to research the voter                                                               
turnout comparison, although her next  slide may help address the                                                               
3:49:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  added to Representative  LeDoux's question.                                                               
He was specifically  interested in the comparison  of the overall                                                               
turnout  rates for  permanent absentee  ballot  precincts to  the                                                               
overall  in  person  precincts   for  both  primary  and  general                                                               
elections in Alaska.                                                                                                            
3:50:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BAHNKE turned  to slide 6, titled  "Exploring Ballot Delivery                                                               
Systems." She  paraphrased from prepared comments,  which read as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
     In  scenario two,  Ballots are  mailed  to all  Alaskan                                                                    
     voters  and you  have 2-3  weeks to  complete and  mail                                                                    
     back.  Outright  purchase  - $2.1M  plus  $181k  Annual                                                                    
     Currently   three   states  (Oregon,   Washington   and                                                                    
     Colorado)  use   vote  by  mail  exclusively   for  all                                                                    
     elections.   Another 22 states  allow certain,  but not                                                                    
     all,  elections  to  be  conducted  entirely  by  mail,                                                                    
     including Alaska.  Here, the  division conducts some of                                                                    
     the  Rural  Educational  Attendance Area  elections  by                                                                    
     mail   as   well   as   special   elections   such   as                                                                    
     incorporation and liquor option elections.                                                                                 
     Although  the division  has not  conducted a  full cost                                                                    
     analysis,  the  division  anticipates  that  conducting                                                                    
     elections by mail would result  in a cost savings.  For                                                                    
     instance, mailing a ballot  package to every registered                                                                    
     voter  is  less  expensive  than  paying  for  election                                                                    
     workers,  election worker  training, and  polling place                                                                    
     rental.  Vote by mail  would also eliminate the type of                                                                    
     human error inherent in polling  place voting and could                                                                    
     mean increased voter convenience, like we see in ANC.                                                                      
     The Division also anticipates  a potential cost savings                                                                    
     related  to  polling   place  supplies  and  equipment-                                                                    
     although  unique  considerations  of  mail  service  in                                                                    
     rural  Alaska would  need to  be carefully  considered.                                                                    
     An entirely  vote by  mail may  be unacceptable  due to                                                                    
     the challenges rural  communities might experience with                                                                    
     both receiving  and returning ballots.   Also, language                                                                    
     assistance  must continue  to be  provided in  order to                                                                    
     comply with  Section 203 of  the Voting Rights  Act and                                                                    
     to ensure that voting is accessible for all Alaskans.                                                                      
3:53:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  suggested some  communities vote  largely by                                                               
absentee voting because they lack  a polling place.  Most polling                                                               
places have  someone to  assist voters who  need assistance.   He                                                               
further recalled  that touchscreens are required  to be available                                                               
in  polling  places,  too.    He asked  whether  voting  by  mail                                                               
violated the requirement of having  someone to assist voters.  He                                                               
pointed  out  that touchscreens  allow  people  to vote  entirely                                                               
independently without the need for  someone to read the ballot to                                                               
them or provide other assistance.   He asked for clarification on                                                               
how the assistance currently works in villages.                                                                                 
MS. BAHNKE  answered that in  specific communities  falling under                                                               
Section  203  of the  Voting  Rights  Act, election  workers  are                                                               
trained to  assist voters with  disabilities and  language needs.                                                               
She reported that the state has  settled two lawsuits in the past                                                               
ten  years that  designated  those communities.   She  reiterated                                                               
that  the  division  does  have  bilingual  outreach  workers  on                                                               
election day in the polling place of those communities.                                                                         
3:55:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked how many  communities were on the list                                                               
designated by those lawsuits or order of magnitude.                                                                             
MS. BAHNKE  answered that under  the Koyukuk settlement  about 40                                                               
communities  were designated;  the  DOE  translates all  election                                                               
materials in six dialects of Yup'ik  and Gwich'in.   In addition,                                                               
the  DOE  also  translates  the  official  election  pamphlet  in                                                               
Spanish and  Tagalog for  those areas of  the state  that require                                                               
the division  to do so.   She commented that  the DOE also  had a                                                               
new  requirement   which  added   Alutiiq  and  Aleut   for  some                                                               
3:56:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK asked  what types  of errors  happen at  the                                                               
polling place.                                                                                                                  
MS. BAHNKE  offered an example  of human  error, such as  a House                                                               
District  40 lawsuit,  in  which an  election  worker provided  2                                                               
ballots to voters.                                                                                                              
3:55:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK recalled that  voting by mail would eliminate                                                               
a lot of precinct polling errors.   He suggested that she made it                                                               
sound like there might be other errors.                                                                                         
MS. BAHNKE said  she mentioned the District 40 issue  as just one                                                               
example  that came  to  mind.   She stated  that  the process  of                                                               
sending  out ballots  and voters  returning  them eliminated  the                                                               
possibility of human error.                                                                                                     
3:57:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  highlighted that people are  concerned about                                                               
integrity  of  the  voting  system  with  voting  by  mail.    He                                                               
understood the DOE  would like to eliminate  precinct errors, but                                                               
the process  of signing in, showing  voter identification, voting                                                               
in  a booth,  and  dropping the  ballot in  a  ballot box  seemed                                                               
pretty  secure.     He  recalled   earlier  testimony   in  which                                                               
signatures in  the recent  MOA election  could not  be validated.                                                               
He recalled these  ballots represented 100 of  79,000 votes cast.                                                               
He questioned  the overall number  of precinct polling  errors if                                                               
precinct polling  errors were  being reduced.   He asked  for the                                                               
number of polling errors outside  the House District 40 issue and                                                               
if it was safe to say there were not a lot of polling errors.                                                                   
MS. BAHNKE  agreed.   She stated that  the election  workers work                                                               
very hard to protect the  integrity and security of the election.                                                               
The  results are  verified and  audited; that  the DOE  has never                                                               
been more than 1 percent off  in any audit.  In further response,                                                               
she  clarified that  she previously  spoke to  human errors,  not                                                               
polling errors.                                                                                                                 
3:59:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked for  clarification that the  DOE has                                                               
never be more than 1 percent off in polling error.                                                                              
MS. BAHNKE  stated that following  an election, the  state review                                                               
board  audits the  election results.   She  asked her  staff, Mr.                                                               
Jackson, to explain the process.                                                                                                
3:59:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  JACKSON  explained  that  following  the  election  all  the                                                               
election materials are sent to  Juneau and stored until the State                                                               
Review Board (SRB) can review  them.  Two different boards review                                                               
the election  materials, she said.   The  hand-count verification                                                               
team randomly  selects one precinct  from each House  district to                                                               
be  hand counted.   The  team would  match its  results with  the                                                               
electronically-generated results in the system.   The DOE has not                                                               
been  more than  1 percent  off between  the hand  count and  the                                                               
electronically-generated results, he said.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE   LEDOUX  said   that  1   percent  seemed   high,                                                               
especially in close elections, such as  the ones won or lost by a                                                               
coin toss.                                                                                                                      
4:01:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS said  his initial election was  subject to a                                                               
recount. He offered  that the tabulation always changes.   In his                                                               
case, the  change was ultimately  two votes,  he said.   He noted                                                               
that 1 percent was not much if the sample size was large.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX said it was not  meant to be a criticism of                                                               
the  division; however,  candidates sometimes  win or  lose their                                                               
elections  by a  5  or 10  vote difference,  and  on occasion  an                                                               
election is won  by 1 vote.   She asked what could  be done about                                                               
the  discrepancies   since  the  1  percent   error  rate  seemed                                                               
significant to her.                                                                                                             
4:02:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BAHNKE suggested  she would not get stuck on  1 percent.  She                                                               
explained  that   the  difference  was  between   the  paper  and                                                               
electronic ballots.   She offered one explanation,  that in close                                                               
races the difference in the  numbers could mean that the division                                                               
had not  received the  election materials from  a community.   It                                                               
might also mean there were  under-voted or over-voted ballots and                                                               
the optical scan  did not read the ballot.   During a recount, if                                                               
the machine does  not read the ballot, the director  would make a                                                               
call  on  whether there  is  voter  intent  and the  ballots  are                                                               
tallied in that way.                                                                                                            
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS clarified that he  heard her say  never more                                                               
than 1  percent.   He asked  if she knew offhand  what the median                                                               
variance  would be.    He  clarified he  was  interested in,  for                                                               
example, what the variance amount for  9 times out of 10 would be                                                               
.1  percent  or  .01  percent.   It  might  be  helpful  for  the                                                               
committee to know that number if it was easy to track down.                                                                     
MS.  BAHNKE attested  that the  current election  system is  very                                                               
4:04:31 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BAHNKE turned  to slide 7, titled  "Exploring Ballot Delivery                                                               
Systems." She  paraphrased from prepared comments,  which read as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
     Under  the third  scenario, the  Modern Hybrid  system,                                                                    
     all voters would receive a  ballot by mail but you have                                                                    
     options for  returning it. You  can mail it in  or drop                                                                    
     it off  at a local vote  center that is open  1-2 weeks                                                                    
     before Election  Day. You  can also  vote in  person at                                                                    
     the Vote Center,  which offers help to  voters who need                                                                    
     it. And if a voter fails  to receive a ballot, or loses                                                                    
     it, they  can obtain  a new  one, and  cast it,  at any                                                                    
     vote  center  before  or   on  Election  Day.  Outright                                                                    
     Purchase  $2.1M plus  $181k Annual  PLUS  cost of  vote                                                                    
     Jurisdictions  like the  State of  Colorado and  Denver                                                                    
     County have  experienced many benefits  since switching                                                                    
     to this new hybrid  system like cost savings, increased                                                                    
     voter  satisfaction, and  decreased labor  requirements                                                                    
     and training.  As a  result of a  fact finding  trip to                                                                    
     Colorado,  the EPWG  determined that  once tailored  to                                                                    
     Alaska's  unique  voting  challenges, a  hybrid  system                                                                    
     could be a viable option  to deliver better results for                                                                    
     Alaskan voters  at a reduced cost.  The EPWG determined                                                                    
     that further  research must be  conducted to  gauge the                                                                    
     viability of an alternative  ballot delivery system for                                                                    
     Alaska, including rural areas.                                                                                             
     Discussion with group on funding  of a new system, what                                                                    
     will it  look like (including options  that expand upon                                                                    
     precinct  based  voting,  alternative  ballot  delivery                                                                    
     mechanisms like vote by mail,  and other options), what                                                                    
     are the  trends going that  might work for  Alaska, the                                                                    
     need for a long term  solution that will serve the 21st                                                                    
     century voter for many years.                                                                                              
MS. BAHNKE  recalled that  the MOA had  five vote  centers during                                                               
its first vote by mail election.                                                                                                
4:07:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL commented  on  the hybrid  system; that  the                                                               
United States has  moved towards being a  paperless society; that                                                               
bills  are paid  on-line so  now it  is easy  for paper  mail [or                                                               
snail mail] to be misplaced.   He said he has relatives in Oregon                                                               
who miss the activity  of going to a ballot booth.   He liked the                                                               
idea of the hybrid system since  the person could still vote with                                                               
proper identification.                                                                                                          
MS. BAHNKE agreed.   She added that the  statutory and procedural                                                               
changes would need  to be considered and Alaska  Statutes (AS) 15                                                               
would require  a major overhaul  or reform in order  to implement                                                               
the proposed changes.  She reiterated  the cost would be the same                                                               
for the  vote by mail plus  the additional cost to  implement the                                                               
vote centers.                                                                                                                   
4:08:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  said that having  a paper trail  of ballots                                                               
is vital to any approach.   He highlighted that the gold standard                                                               
for elections would be to have a paper trail for every ballot.                                                                  
MS.  BAHNKE agreed  that was  correct.   She stated  that several                                                               
states who  moved away from  the paper  trail are moving  back to                                                               
4:10:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked  whether  Colorado was  all  by  mail                                                               
voting and if  the state had changed to a  hybrid election model.                                                               
He said  his notes said  Oregon, Washington, and Colorado  do all                                                               
vote by mail elections.                                                                                                         
MS. BAHNKE  answered yes; that  Colorado has a "hybrid"  piece to                                                               
it.   She related  that Colorado's  elections are  exclusively by                                                               
mail, similar  to Alaska's REAA [Regional  Educational Attendance                                                               
Area] elections and special elections by mail.                                                                                  
4:11:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK   asked  for  clarification   on  Colorado's                                                               
election system;  that it  was exclusively an  all vote  by mail,                                                               
but how voters return their ballots makes it a hybrid.                                                                          
MS. BAHNKE agreed.                                                                                                              
4:11:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS asked  whether  the MOA's  system would  be                                                               
considered a hybrid election system  given that it has accessible                                                               
vote centers in which ballots can be returned in person.                                                                        
MS. BAHNKE answered yes.                                                                                                        
4:11:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked if voters  who received  their ballots                                                               
in the  mail and misplaced  them can vote  in person at  the vote                                                               
center with proper identification.                                                                                              
MS. BAHNKE  answered that  a vote  center provides  three things;                                                               
first, it  provides a means for  someone to receive a  ballot and                                                               
vote in person;  second, it provides a place to  drop off a voted                                                               
mail  ballot that  the person  received in  the mail;  and third,                                                               
centers provide language assistance  or special assistance voters                                                               
might  need.   She envisioned,  for example,  that a  vote center                                                               
might  be placed  at  a  tribal center  [in  the Western  Alaska]                                                               
village  of  Chevak,  rather  than the  division  placing  a  big                                                               
concrete box in the village.                                                                                                    
4:12:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL referred to  online ballot delivery services,                                                               
which seemed  as though a person  could fill out a  ballot online                                                               
and print  it out; however,  it allowed for electronic  or e-mail                                                               
delivery for return.  At that  point, the ballot would be printed                                                               
out  and entered  as a  paper ballot.   He  acknowledged that  it                                                               
would provide a paper trail, but  the person voting would not see                                                               
it.  He assumed the DOE does not find that system very secure.                                                                  
MS.  BAHNKE answered  that  he is  correct.   She  said this  was                                                               
discussed with the Election Policy Work  Group, who has had a lot                                                               
of concerns due  to the international cyber threats.   She stated                                                               
that the DOE  has suspended the online return.   In 2018, the DOE                                                               
will provide  voters who  request online  ballots, but  they must                                                               
print it off return it by mail or fax.                                                                                          
4:14:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL related  that  he has  multiple USPO  boxes,                                                               
receives mail  at his home, so  he understood how mail  could get                                                               
tossed in  a person's vehicle.   He  offered his belief  that the                                                               
mail  trail could  present challenges.  He liked  online printing                                                               
since a person could  print it out and return it  by mail as part                                                               
of the hybrid method.                                                                                                           
4:14:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS was  not aware  the division  had suspended                                                               
the e-mail option.  He recalled  reading a report in which Alaska                                                               
was given  a "B," as  one of the best  grades in the  nation, but                                                               
one of the complaints on  Alaska's system was the e-mail delivery                                                               
option.   He characterized  it as  heartening and  commendable to                                                               
hear DOE acted on this.                                                                                                         
4:15:20 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BAHNKE  turned to slide 8,  title "EPWG Steps Forward."   She                                                               
related  that the  EPWG's  next meeting  is on  May  9, 2018,  in                                                               
Anchorage.   The group will report  on its projects.   First, the                                                               
division partnered  with UAA's Institute  of Social  and Economic                                                               
Research (ISER), who  is conducting a survey on behalf  of DOE of                                                               
registered voters in the Kusilvak,  Bethel, and Dillingham census                                                               
areas.  The survey asks voters  to weigh in on alternative voting                                                               
methods  and  their  perceptions  of the  mail  service  and  any                                                               
barriers they perceive in voting.   The division's target for the                                                               
survey is  400 completed surveys.   As of this week  the division                                                               
had received  385 completed  surveys.  The  work is  ongoing, and                                                               
the findings will be released by the end of May, she said.                                                                      
4:16:24 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BAHNKE said  that  to complement  the  survey, the  division                                                               
hosted focus  groups in Bethel  last week with elders  and youth.                                                               
The division's Yu'pik interpreter  held group-style meetings with                                                               
questions  aimed  at  facilitating discussion  among  elders  and                                                               
youth.   She remarked that the  youth all wanted to  vote online.                                                               
She explained  the purpose  was to consider  the pros,  cons, and                                                               
concerns around  current voting methods  and the  three proposals                                                               
discussed today, including the hybrid system being considered.                                                                  
MS. BAHNKE  offered that the  DOE has invited all  four federally                                                               
certified vendors - Clear Vote,  Dominion, ES&S [Election Systems                                                               
and  Software], and  Hart [InterCivic],  to Anchorage  to conduct                                                               
demonstrations on three  types of voting systems:  a paper ballot                                                               
precinct-based system, a paper ballot  vote by mail system, and a                                                               
vote  by  mail  system.    She  invited  members  to  attend  the                                                               
demonstrations.   She said  the DOE  was exploring  whether there                                                               
was a good  alternative for the state to replace  its 20-year old                                                               
4:18:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  noted that  the Senate capital  budget line                                                               
item was added  to replace election equipment.   He asked whether                                                               
the line item was inserted  in consultation with the division and                                                               
if there was any vision for how the funds would be spent.                                                                       
MS.  BAHNKE  agreed  the  division  was  aware  of  the  proposed                                                               
4:19:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BAHNKE referred  to slide  9, titled  "EPWG Recommendation."                                                               
She  said that  in recognition  of Alaska's  need to  replace its                                                               
aging statewide  voting equipment  and modernize and  improve the                                                               
integrity of the state's elections,  the division anticipates the                                                               
EPWG will make an advisory  recommendation to the Lt. Governor in                                                               
the upcoming  months.  Once  a decision is  made or the  DOE gets                                                               
direction, it would  need to conduct a full cost  analysis of the                                                               
recommended voting  system, identify the necessary  changes to AS                                                               
15, and draft legislation for the legislature's consideration.                                                                  
MS. BAHNKE  anticipated that  the division would  need to  hire a                                                               
project manager to  see it through the process,  but the division                                                               
will  also  need  to  continue  to  work  with  the  legislature,                                                               
municipalities,  community  and  tribal leaders,  and  other  key                                                               
stakeholders to  ensure that  these groups  agree.   She recalled                                                               
Ms. Jones mentioned the MOA's  success with its outreach program.                                                               
She  hoped  to   use  the  MOA's  model  as  an   example.    She                                                               
acknowledged  that community  outreach was  important, so  voters                                                               
are knowledgeable  and understand the changes  to Alaska's voting                                                               
4:20:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BAHNKE  said that  lastly,  the  division  will need  to  go                                                               
through a  formal procurement  process.   Presently, the  DOE has                                                               
secured  approximately $5  million  to put  toward a  replacement                                                               
system.   In  March 2018,  the DOE  received $3  million in  Help                                                               
America Vote Act  (HAVA) funding and the remaining  $2 million in                                                               
funding will come  from a combination of existing  HAVA funds and                                                               
the previously  mentioned capital  budget line  item.   That line                                                               
item was a  reappropriation of lapsing funds  from the Governor's                                                               
office.   In  addition,  the division  will  have a  five-percent                                                               
match to  the HAVA funding,  or $150,000, with the  total funding                                                               
of $5 million for the new election system.                                                                                      
MS. BAHNKE  indicated that  the division was  ramping up  for the                                                               
2018 election  cycle and it does  not wish to lose  momentum.  As                                                               
evidenced  with  the  MOA,  any  change  in  an  election  system                                                               
requires  significant  discussion  and   time  to  execute.    In                                                               
closing, she quoted one of the  members at the first EPWG meeting                                                               
who said,  This  is about making government work and  voting is a                                                               
fundamental  right.     Cost  effectiveness  and   other  related                                                               
concerns are  critical, but well-run  elections are  of paramount                                                               
4:22:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK commented that he  was glad to see DOE moving                                                               
in this  direction.  He hoped  that the division would  also give                                                               
this presentation to the Senate.   He recalled the pie chart that                                                               
illustrated early voting versus absentee  voting.  He said people                                                               
sometimes are  confused about early  voting, which may  happen in                                                               
rural Alaska.   Many people who  tried to vote early  were denied                                                               
because they were told they needed  to be absent to vote since it                                                               
consisted of an  in-person absentee application.   He offered his                                                               
belief that calling  it "early voting" was an easy  way to handle                                                               
it.  In that way, poll  watchers and poll workers also understand                                                               
the function.   He acknowledged  that some processes  are handled                                                               
differently but  the public  just needs to  know they  can "early                                                               
vote" and do not need to go to a vote center to do so.                                                                          
4:24:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR pointed out that  the report and the EPWG can                                                               
be found on the website.                                                                                                        
             HB 408-REVOCATION OF DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                          
4:24:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the final  order of business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 408,  "An Act relating to revocation of a                                                               
driver's license."                                                                                                              
4:25:23 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GABRIELLE   LEDOUX,  on   behalf  of   the  House                                                               
Judiciary  Committee,  presented  HB  408.   She  said  that  the                                                               
impetus for  HB 408 was brought  forth by a constituent  who will                                                               
testify on his  experience; however, this bill  also would affect                                                               
many  other people.  She paraphrased  from  a sponsor  statement,                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     In  Alaska,   a  person  who  has   had  their  license                                                                    
     permanently  revoked due  to  alcohol related  offenses                                                                    
     can apply  to have  their driver's license  restored if                                                                    
     10  years have  passed  since the  revocation and  they                                                                    
     have not  been convicted of a  driving-related criminal                                                                    
     offense  in   that  time.   However,  if   someone  was                                                                    
     convicted  of   any  driving-related  crime   (such  as                                                                    
     driving without a  license) any time after  the date of                                                                    
     revocation, their  license may never be  restored under                                                                    
     current law.                                                                                                               
4:26:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  explained  the limited  exception.    She                                                               
related that  if a person  was convicted after three  strikes and                                                               
had  his/her  driver's  license [permanently]  revoked,  but  the                                                               
person subsequently  was arrested for another  DUI [driving under                                                               
the influence]  offense, the  person would  be eligible  to apply                                                               
for a  limited license.   She then highlighted  the inconsistency                                                               
in current  law pertaining to DUIs.   She said that  a person who                                                               
stayed totally  clean for  10-15 years and  has not  been charged                                                               
with a DUI has no pathway  to obtain a driver's license; however,                                                               
a person  who had  a fourth  DUI who  adhered to  the therapeutic                                                               
court process would  be eligible to get  his/her driver's license                                                               
4:29:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked for clarification  on how  current law                                                               
would affect  someone who  lost their license  but did  not drive                                                               
for ten years.                                                                                                                  
4:30:16 PM                                                                                                                    
GREG SMITH, Staff, Representative  Gabrielle LeDoux, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  stated  that HB  408  would  address someone  whose                                                               
license was  permanently revoked  due to 3  felony DUIs  within a                                                               
10-year  period.   If that  person committed  any driving-related                                                               
offense,  there would  not  be any  remedy  to reinstate  driving                                                               
privileges.  He was not sure about the insurance requirements.                                                                  
4:31:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  reiterated  the  purpose of  the  bill,  to                                                               
create a pathway  for reinstating a limited  driver's license for                                                               
those  who  are "clean"  for  ten  years, including  not  driving                                                               
without a license.                                                                                                              
MR.  SMITH  answered  yes;  that   was  his  understanding.    He                                                               
described the situation was being  encountered by someone who had                                                               
multiple DUI convictions  as a young person,  had his/her license                                                               
permanently  revoked,  but  who  has since  reformed  and  cannot                                                               
obtain a driver's license.                                                                                                      
4:33:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked for clarification for  someone who was                                                               
conviction of a felony DUI, but  in Year 9 was subsequently cited                                                               
for  driving without  a license,  that the  person would  need to                                                               
wait 10 years  before he/she was eligible for  a limited driver's                                                               
license under the bill.                                                                                                         
MR. SMITH answered  yes; that the intent of the  bill is that the                                                               
person  must  have  10  years   of  no  driving-related  criminal                                                               
offenses before  they could petition  for restoration  of his/her                                                               
driver's license.                                                                                                               
4:34:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SEAN  HOOPER described  his experience  with losing  his driver's                                                               
license.    In 2002,  he  received  a  felony DUI,  went  through                                                               
treatment,  and  in  2003  was cited  for  driving  a  motorcycle                                                               
without  a  license.   It  has  been  nearly  15 years  since  he                                                               
straightened out  his life.  He  has tried several times  to have                                                               
his license  reinstated; however, since  he had an  offense after                                                               
his license was  revoked due to a felony DUI,  he is not eligible                                                               
for a limited license or license reinstatement of any type.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  thanked  him   for  testifying  since  it                                                               
identifies an issue that affects not only him, but many others.                                                                 
4:36:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked  whether his license was  revoked for a                                                               
third felony DUI.                                                                                                               
MR. HOOPER  answered that  it was his  third offense  right after                                                               
the law  was changed  to reflect three  DUI offenses  within five                                                               
years.  He said he had three DUIs in his early 20s.                                                                             
4:36:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  asked whether he was  driving the motorcycle                                                               
without a valid license and if it triggered something else.                                                                     
MR.  HOOPER  said  his  license was  permanently  revoked  for  a                                                               
[third] felony  DUI.   The law  was written  that after  10 years                                                               
from supervised  probation a  person would  be eligible  to apply                                                               
for termination of revocation unless  the person had any criminal                                                               
offense.    His  criminal  offense was  driving  with  a  revoked                                                               
license in 2003, he said.                                                                                                       
4:37:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL said  it  sounded as  though  he could  have                                                               
applied for the termination of  driver's license revocation if he                                                               
had not had a moving violation  on the motorcycle.  He was unsure                                                               
if Mr.  Hooper could have  applied for his license  under current                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  responded  that  Mr.  Hooper  could  have                                                               
applied  after ten  years if  he  had not  had a  driving-related                                                               
criminal offense.   Mr.  Hooper did have  one since  his criminal                                                               
offense  was  driving  without  license. She  said  he  has  been                                                               
"clean"  now  for  15  years;  however, he  can  never  obtain  a                                                               
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS remarked it was a bit like the SR-22 issue.                                                                
4:39:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL recapped  that  essentially  the bill  would                                                               
allow  a person  to  apply for  termination  of driver's  license                                                               
revocation after ten years with a  clean record.  This bill would                                                               
reset the ten-year clock, he said.                                                                                              
4:39:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  recalled that  part of  the concept,  as he                                                               
understood  it  from  the   House  Judiciary  Standing  Committee                                                               
hearing was  that under current  law with justice reform  that SB
91 has  a pathway  to reinstate  his/her license.   He  asked for                                                               
clarification on the pathway.                                                                                                   
4:41:02 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEADE, General  Counsel, Administrative  Staff, Office  of                                                               
the   Administrative  Director,   Alaska   Court  System   (ACS),                                                               
responded  that prior  to passage  of SB  91, there  was not  any                                                               
pathway  for a  person  with  a felony  DUI  law, which  required                                                               
permanent  revocation to  get a  limited driver's  license.   She                                                               
explained that  misdemeanants could  obtain a limited  license to                                                               
allow the  person to drive  to work under  certain circumstances.                                                               
She  stated that  SB  91 added  a provision  that  would allow  a                                                               
person with a third felony  DUI conviction within 10 years, whose                                                               
license  has  been  permanently  revoked,  to  obtain  a  limited                                                               
license  if  the person  had  gone  through a  therapeutic  court                                                               
program and  met other  requirements such  as proof  of financial                                                               
responsibility  [SR-22], use  of the  ignition interlock  device,                                                               
and a few other things.                                                                                                         
MS. MEADE  explained that if  an individual lived in  a community                                                               
without a  therapeutic court,  the person  must demonstrate  to a                                                               
judge  that the  person had  completed a  treatment program  with                                                               
conditions  similar to  a therapeutic  court,  including that  it                                                               
spanned  18  months,  had  intensive   oversight,  and  had  some                                                               
residential component.   If the  person could  do that it  was an                                                               
alternative  to the  therapeutic court,  she said.   She  related                                                               
that a  person who  had driven under  the limited  felony license                                                               
for  three  years  could  apply  under  the  same  provision,  AS                                                               
28.35.030(o)  under   proposed  Section  2,  to   obtain  a  full                                                               
restoration.  She stated that  the provision was retroactive. For                                                               
example, if someone  went through therapeutic court  in 2004, the                                                               
person  meeting  the  requirements could  have  his/her  driver's                                                               
license reinstated.                                                                                                             
4:42:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked for clarification  whether a person who                                                               
used  the  therapeutic court  exception  and  obtained a  limited                                                               
license would need to use the ignition interlock system or not.                                                                 
MS.  MEADE explained  that  the ignition  interlock  device is  a                                                               
requirement for anyone conviction of a  DUI.  The law states that                                                               
the  person  would  permanently lose  his/her  driver's  license;                                                               
however, the  law also says  when and  if the person  ever drives                                                               
again, the  person must use  the ignition interlock device  for a                                                               
set period  of time.  She  related that language was  included in                                                               
every judgment.   She  acknowledged that after  three years  of a                                                               
limited  license the  person can  have  his/her driver's  license                                                               
restored.  She  referred to language on page 1,  starting at line                                                               
13.   She  explained  that proposed  AS  28.35.030(o) provides  a                                                               
different method for those who  do not go through the therapeutic                                                               
court  process  to obtain  a  full  driver's license  restoration                                                               
after 10  years of a clean  driving record despite the  fact that                                                               
the revocation was permanent.                                                                                                   
4:44:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK related  a scenario  in which  a friend  got                                                               
three DUIs early  on and only recently after 15  years or longer,                                                               
with passage of  SB 91 was able to obtain  a driver's license but                                                               
uses  an  ignition  interlock  device.    He  also  went  through                                                               
therapeutic  court, he  said.   He asked  for clarification  that                                                               
with passage of HB 408, if  his friend had no prior violations in                                                               
10 years that  he could apply for a full  driver's license, which                                                               
would remove  the requirement for  the ignition  interlock device                                                               
and he would have the same privileges as any other driver.                                                                      
MS. MEADE  answered yes; but  there would  be a better  avenue to                                                               
get  the full  driver's  license, which  would  be after  driving                                                               
under  a limited  license  for three  years  without any  driving                                                               
related problems  could get  his license restored.   She  said it                                                               
would be more advantageous to use that route.                                                                                   
4:45:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  said he  liked [the  bill] and  believed in                                                               
redemption.   He expressed an  interest in statistics  on drivers                                                               
whose  license was  reinstated after  ten years  who subsequently                                                               
MS. MEADE  stated that [AS  28.35.030(o)(1)&(2) went  into effect                                                               
in  2002, which  relates  to restoration  of  a revoked  driver's                                                               
license  after  10 years  with  no  convictions of  any  driving-                                                               
related criminal  offenses.  Thus,  the first people  eligible to                                                               
apply under this  statute would have been in 2012.   She deferred                                                               
to  the DMV  to  provide  figures on  the  number  of people  who                                                               
applied   and  how   many  were   granted.     She  agreed   with                                                               
Representative   Wool's  assessment   that  many   drivers  whose                                                               
licenses were revoked continued  to drive with suspended licenses                                                               
and therefore disqualified themselves.                                                                                          
4:47:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MARLA THOMSON,  Director, Division of Motor  Vehicles, Department                                                               
of  Administration  (DOA),  was  unsure but  offered  to  provide                                                               
information to the committee.                                                                                                   
4:47:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SMITH said he found  information showing that revocation of a                                                               
license was a  mechanism to reduce recidivism, but  what was less                                                               
conclusive  was the  optimal length  of  a revocation.   In  some                                                               
cases, long revocation periods taught  people that it was okay to                                                               
drive without  a license  when they  discovered they  could drive                                                               
and not be caught.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH said  that  ultimately it  is about  public                                                               
safety, so he was interested in the recidivism rates.                                                                           
4:48:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  whether  someone  like Mr.  Hooper,                                                               
whose  DUIs  were 15  years  ago,  would  be eligible  to  attend                                                               
therapeutic court.                                                                                                              
MS.  THOMSON   answered  no;  that   therapeutic  court   was  an                                                               
alternative  option to  deal with  a DUI  charge; therefore,  the                                                               
case must be  active.  The courts do not  provide social services                                                               
to  people who  do not  have an  active case.   If  a person  was                                                               
arrested  and  came  before  the  court,  the  therapeutic  court                                                               
provides an alternative route to the traditional court.                                                                         
4:49:47 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  related  her understanding  that  if  Mr.                                                               
Hooper  got an  additional DUI  and was  referred to  therapeutic                                                               
court, he  could then  apply for a  limited license.   Obviously,                                                               
Mr. Hooper would  not want to get  a DUI, but in  keeping on "the                                                               
straight and narrow path" places him  in a worse position than if                                                               
he got a subsequent DUI.                                                                                                        
MS. MEADE answered that was  literally true; however, therapeutic                                                               
court  is  an intensive  18-month  program  with social  workers,                                                               
probation officers,  and seeing the  judge every few days  at the                                                               
beginning  and tapering  off to  a weekly  visit.   Everyone must                                                               
agree  that  the  person  is an  appropriate  candidate  for  the                                                               
therapeutic court  route; for example,  they must agree  that the                                                               
person was  capable of  rehabilitation, she said.   She  said she                                                               
did  not  wish to  indicate  that  anyone  could go  through  the                                                               
therapeutic court because it is a difficult process.                                                                            
4:51:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  said  she understood  this;  however,  it                                                               
seemed  unfair  that someone  could  go  through the  therapeutic                                                               
court  route  to  get his/her  driver's  license  back.  However,                                                               
someone  without a  DUI after  15 years  could never  get his/her                                                               
license privileges restored.                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE answered that this  is what the law currently provides.                                                               
She offered  her view of what  happened in SB 91;  that there was                                                               
not a  way to  provide a  limited license.   The  ten-year period                                                               
without  any  DUIs  does  not  help  anyone  who  drives  with  a                                                               
suspended license, which many people  in that situation choose to                                                               
do at some point.  She further  stated that under SB 91, the view                                                               
was taken  to make it  available to  some people, but  still have                                                               
some  assurance that  this person  will not  recidivate and  show                                                               
some signs of rehabilitation.   She acknowledged that therapeutic                                                               
court was one concrete indicator.                                                                                               
4:52:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked Ms. Meade  to describe the therapeutic                                                               
retroactivity associated  with the  therapeutic court  pathway to                                                               
restore a person's driver's license.                                                                                            
MS. MEADE  responded that SB  91 offered  a route for  those with                                                               
offenses before  the effective date of  SB 91; for example,  if a                                                               
person had a felony DUI in  2009, had not been driving since that                                                               
date and went  through therapeutic court, the  person could still                                                               
apply to DMV for a limited  driver's license.  It was intended to                                                               
address  parties   who  needed  some  avenue   to  restore  their                                                               
licenses.  Therapeutic  court was one way to show  the person was                                                               
somewhat rehabilitated, she said.                                                                                               
4:53:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  related his understanding that  prior to the                                                               
passage  of SB  91 someone  with a  felony DUI  who lost  his/her                                                               
license permanently and  had no violations within  10 years could                                                               
apply to get their driver's license restored.                                                                                   
MS. MEADE answered yes.                                                                                                         
4:54:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  suggested that having some  option to obtain                                                               
a legal driver's  license was good since the  penalty for someone                                                               
whose license was  suspended and continued to drive  would not be                                                               
a deterrent.  He asked whether  10 years would be the appropriate                                                               
amount of  time.  He was  unsure of the penalty  for driving with                                                               
license suspended [DWLS]  and whether people would  get jail time                                                               
for the offense.                                                                                                                
MS.  MEADE  responded that  the  DWLS  was  a common  charge  and                                                               
conviction.  She  reported that approximately 1,800  per year are                                                               
convicted of  DWLS.  She stated  that SB 91 separated  the crime.                                                               
If a person whose license was  suspended was caught driving for a                                                               
reason other  than DUI or  refusal, the penalty is  an infraction                                                               
with  a  $300  fine.    However,  if  the  driver's  license  was                                                               
suspended due  to a  DUI, the  penalty is  a Class  A misdemeanor                                                               
under SB 91.   The statute spells  out the penalty as  10 days in                                                               
jail with 10  days suspended and the second  offense would result                                                               
in 10 days in jail.                                                                                                             
4:56:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked  whether the DMV has  taken a position                                                               
on HB 408.                                                                                                                      
MS. THOMSON stated  that the DMV has not yet  taken a position on                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
4:57:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK remarked  that he  was glad  to reform  some                                                               
things,  including the  SR-22 remedy.   He  viewed HB  408 as  an                                                               
amendment  rather than  a bill  and it  is a  necessary fix  that                                                               
needs to happen.                                                                                                                
4:58:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 408 would be held over.                                                                  
[HB 408 was held over.]                                                                                                         
4:58:46 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee  meeting was adjourned  at 4:58                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB408 Sponsor Statement 4.13.18.pdf HSTA 4/26/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 5/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 408
HB408 Sectional Analysis 4.13.18.pdf HSTA 4/26/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 5/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 408
HB408 ver A 4.13.18.PDF HSTA 4/26/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 5/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 408
HB408 Fiscal Note DOA 4.25.18.pdf HSTA 4/26/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 5/1/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 408
Division of Election Report 4.25.18.pdf HSTA 4/26/2018 3:15:00 PM