Legislature(2005 - 2006)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/08/2005 01:00 PM Senate FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Call of the Chair --
Moved CSHB 26(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 94(STA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSSSHB 53(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 98(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 279(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 130(FIN) Out of Committee
     SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 94(STA)                                                                                
     "An Act relating to  qualifications of voters, requirements and                                                            
     procedures  regarding independent candidates  for President and                                                            
     Vice-President of  the United States, voter registration, voter                                                            
     residence, precinct  boundary and polling place designation and                                                            
     modification,  political  parties, voters  unaffiliated  with a                                                            
     political party, early  voting, absentee voting, ballot design,                                                            
     ballot  counting, voting by mail,  voting machines,  vote tally                                                            
     systems,   qualifications  for   elected  office,  initiative,                                                             
     referendum,  recall,  and definitions  in  the Alaska  Election                                                            
     Code; and relating to incorporation elections."                                                                            
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
LAURA  GLAISER,  Director,  Division  of Elections,  Office  of  the                                                            
Lieutenant  Governor,  characterized  this legislation  as being  "a                                                            
major piece of election  reform". It is an updated version of a bill                                                            
that  was  introduced  but  not  adopted  the previous  Legislative                                                             
Ms.  Glaiser  stated that  this  bill  would  clean up  and  enhance                                                            
current  election  provisions,   including  minor  changes  such  as                                                            
changing  the term  "work site"  to "construction  site";  proposing                                                            
that the voter record rather  than the voter card be the presumptive                                                            
evidence of  a voter's residence;  including the definition  of non-                                                            
partisan  and undeclared  voters; "protecting  voter information  of                                                            
domestic  violence victims  in accordance  with confidentially  laws                                                            
approved last year; defining  the process for independent candidates                                                            
for  Vice  President  and  President;  sharing  consistency  in  the                                                            
definition of  an overseas voter; making clear age  requirements for                                                            
serving  once selected;  and clarifies  recognized  political  party                                                            
status and how  the Division notifies a party". Changes  to Title 29                                                            
would  include   "clearly"  defining   a  qualified  voter   as  one                                                            
registered  to vote  within a proposed  borough  or municipality  at                                                            
least  30 days  prior to  an  election as  a hardship  is  currently                                                            
incurred by the requirement  that a person must live in an area. The                                                            
bill would  "define re-registration  and repeal duplicate  language"                                                            
regarding regional supervisors and absentee voting stations.                                                                    
Ms.  Glaiser spoke  to  the "major  changes"  proposed  in the  bill                                                            
regarding such things as  allowing a voter through power of attorney                                                            
to register to  vote, and make changes to their registration.  Other                                                            
changes  would  include reducing  the  witnessing  requirements  for                                                            
absentee by  mail or electronic transmission  from two witnesses  to                                                            
one. The  Division desired  that witness be  a United States  (U.S.)                                                            
citizen, however that requirement  was eliminated in the House State                                                            
Affairs Committee.                                                                                                              
Co-Chair Green  asked for further information regarding  the witness                                                            
Ms. Glaiser responded  that current law requires two  U.S. witnesses                                                            
for a faxed  voted ballot  and two witnesses  for a by-mail  ballot.                                                            
The Division  recommended  changing both those  voting scenarios  to                                                            
one witness who must be  a U.S. citizen; House action eliminated the                                                            
U.S. citizenship  requirement, but incorporated language  that would                                                            
subject a person  making false statements on the absentee  ballot to                                                            
the act of perjury.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair Green  understood that, were they to submit  an "ineligible                                                            
witness",  the  person  submitting  the  absentee  ballot  would  be                                                            
subject to that punishment.                                                                                                     
1:16:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Glaiser affirmed.                                                                                                           
Ms. Glaiser  continued that the bill  would incorporate scanning  as                                                            
another mode of transmitting  voter registration or by mail absentee                                                            
ballot  requests to  the Division.  Current  acceptable transmittal                                                             
means include delivery in person, by mail, or by fax.                                                                           
Ms. Glaiser informed the  Committee that, while current law requires                                                            
the Director  of the  Division of  Elections to  determine a  random                                                            
order for  all candidates,  the House added  language requiring  the                                                            
Division  to implement  a ballot  rotation  for the  names of  those                                                            
candidates running for  governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. senator,                                                            
U.S.  representative,  and State  senator  for each  district.  "The                                                            
names of the candidates  for State House races will appear in random                                                            
order as determined by the Director as is the current practice."                                                                
Ms. Glaiser  pointed out  that the Division  advanced language  that                                                            
"would improve ballot security  by adding that the ballots would not                                                            
be mailed  to a voter  whose address  has been  identified as  being                                                            
undeliverable".  In  addition,   election  boards  must  notify  the                                                            
Division  of the  number  of ballots  that  have been  destroyed  to                                                            
increase  accountability.  Voting  machine  and vote  tally  machine                                                            
standards provisions were also included in the bill.                                                                            
Ms.  Glaiser  stated that  a  large portion  of  the bill  would  be                                                            
dedicated  to  improving   the  process  pertaining   to  petitions,                                                            
referendums  and recalls. The changes  would make the process  "more                                                            
user  friendly"   for  citizens  and  would  make   the  process  of                                                            
"petitioning  the government more  consistent". One change  would be                                                            
the inclusion  of a  "printed name  and numerical  identifier  for a                                                            
petition  signer". The numerical  identifier  language added  by the                                                            
House  Judiciary Committee  would  include  such things  as date  of                                                            
birth,  last four  digits of one's  social security  number,  Alaska                                                            
driver's license  number, or State  or voter identification  number.                                                            
This information "would  improve the Division's ability to qualify a                                                            
voter's signature".                                                                                                             
1:18:22 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Glaiser stated  that the proposed changes in the  qualifications                                                            
pertaining to a circulator  or petitioner would align the State with                                                            
the Buckley  ruling in that, while  the circulator must be  18 years                                                            
of age, an Alaskan  resident, and a U.S. citizen,  they would not be                                                            
required to be a registered voter.                                                                                              
Ms.  Glaiser  noted  that  "language  that  was the  basis  for  the                                                            
Division  requiring   accountability   reports  from  the   petition                                                            
sponsors  has  been removed",  as  a Court  ruling  considered  that                                                            
requirement  to  be "an  undue burden  and  a barrier  for  petition                                                            
Ms.  Glaiser   also  pointed   out  that   language  requiring   the                                                            
circulator's  name to be prominently  displayed on the petition  was                                                            
eliminated.  While  the Division  had  chosen  not to  enforce  that                                                            
provision following  the year 2000 Buckley ruling,  the Statutes had                                                            
not been changed.                                                                                                               
Ms.  Glaiser  continued  that  language   regarding  the  number  of                                                            
signatures  required  on a  recall  petition  was clarified  by  the                                                            
removal  of language pertaining  to 100  signatures. Going  forward,                                                            
ten percent  of the voters in the  preceding general election  would                                                            
be required to sign a recall petition.                                                                                          
Ms. Glaiser  stated that  one of the changes  advanced by the  House                                                            
Judiciary Committee  was to reduce the percent of  votes required by                                                            
party  candidates  for  the  party   to continue   as  a  recognized                                                            
political party. "The amounts  for recounts were raised" as depicted                                                            
in  the  sectional  analyses  contained  in  Members'  packets.  The                                                            
amounts had not been reset since 1986.                                                                                          
1:19:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Glaiser  specified  that the  legislation  would  also  require                                                            
petitions,  referendums  or  recalls  to  specify  in  the  petition                                                            
booklet  "the  minimum  cost   to  the  State  for  the  review  and                                                            
certification  of those  petitions".  In addition,  the cost to  the                                                            
State, were the act approved by the voters must be provided.                                                                    
Ms. Glaiser stated  that language was added on the  House Floor that                                                            
"no one supplying  an absentee ballot  application may pre-mark  the                                                            
primary ballot choice for  a voter before mailing it out".  Language                                                            
was also added that specified  that "only a voter or a person with a                                                            
power  of  attorney   could  mark  party  affiliation   on  a  voter                                                            
registration  or  absentee ballot  application  unless  the mark  is                                                            
consistent with the voter's current registration record".                                                                       
Ms. Glaiser  noted that the Senate  State Affairs Committee  changed                                                            
the word  "oath" in Section  6(a) (11) back  to "attestation"  as is                                                            
reflected  in current law.  That word would  be consistent  with the                                                            
national  voter registration  act. The  use of the  word "oath"  was                                                            
Ms. Glaiser  informed  the Committee  that, while  the Senate  State                                                            
Affairs  Committee added  Sections  11, 12,  and 13,  she could  not                                                            
speak to those  sections was they pertained to law  that she did not                                                            
Ms. Glaiser  stated that  Section 19 changed  the date by which  the                                                            
Director  must  identify  locations  for  early  voting  sites.  The                                                            
proposed  date of  June first  would  replace the  existing  January                                                            
first date.  This was a Division request  as moving the date  closer                                                            
to the election  date would provide more time to determine  the most                                                            
appropriate  sites  for that  activity. The  June  first date  would                                                            
continue  to provide  the Division  the time  required for  ordering                                                            
ballots, supplies, and the hiring of election workers.                                                                          
1:21:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Glaiser  noted that the Senate  State Affairs Committee  removed                                                            
language  adopted on  the House  Floor  that would  have provided  a                                                            
ballot with the  greatest range of candidates from  the most parties                                                            
to  an unaffiliated  voter  who  failed  to mark  a  primary  ballot                                                            
choice.  This language  was removed,  as  no such  ballot exists  in                                                            
Alaska  because  it  has  "closed  primaries   in  which  there  are                                                            
individual  ballots for  individual  parties".  Therefore the  House                                                            
language  was  inconsistent  with  existing State  law.  The  Senate                                                            
Judiciary  Committee   also  removed  language  that   would  change                                                            
existing qualifiers for recognized political parties.                                                                           
Co-Chair Green  described this as  being "a huge bill". Continuing,                                                             
she  asked  whether any  language  in  the bill  would  provide  the                                                            
Division the  ability to "clean up"  the State's voter registration                                                             
1:22:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Glaiser  responded that  the bill would  not address purging  of                                                            
the  voter registration  list.  The  federal Department  of  Justice                                                            
(DoJ) and the  National Voter Registration Act "heavily  monitor the                                                            
portion  of the  law  regarding  that endeavor".  The  Division  has                                                            
conducted  internal discussions  in this regard;  however,  it would                                                            
require  tremendous   effort  and   coordination  with  DoJ.   As  a                                                            
consequence  of existing State law,  the Division has been  notified                                                            
by DoJ that  the State is one of a  few with more registered  voters                                                            
than people over  the age of 18. The Division has  responded to DoJ,                                                            
and as result, an effort in this regard might be forthcoming.                                                                   
1:23:34 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green  asked whether State  or federal law would  allow for                                                            
the requirement  that a person "at the time of voting"  update their                                                            
address information. This  would seem to be the most feasible manner                                                            
through which  to update  records. The fact  that a high percent  of                                                            
the Division's  mailings  are returned  is a  point of frustration.                                                             
Many addresses  are old and past the time allotted  by the U.S. Post                                                            
Office for  forwarding. Efforts  such as  developing an unobtrusive                                                             
method to update records at the voting poll should be furthered.                                                                
Ms.  Glaiser  responded  that  requesting  people  to  update  their                                                            
address at  the time of voting would  not be obtrusive. The  process                                                            
of Questioned Ballots currently  allows that. While State or federal                                                            
law would  not prohibit  asking for address  verification,  it would                                                            
slow down the polling process.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Green   asked  whether  permission  to  ask   for  address                                                            
verification would be required in State Statute.                                                                                
Ms. Glaiser stated that this would be researched.                                                                               
Co-Chair Green expressed  that a determination would be appreciated,                                                            
as this is an important issue.                                                                                                  
1:26:27 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilken asked whether  the inclusion  of a FY 2007  capital                                                            
budget  request for  a dedicated  staff  position to  work with  the                                                            
federal DoJ in regards  to the State's Voter Registration list might                                                            
be appropriate.  To  that point,  he asked  whether  such an  effort                                                            
could be accomplished in one year.                                                                                              
1:26:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Glaiser responded  that  this effort  would  involve more  than                                                            
"just a body", as the person  must be able to speak on behalf of the                                                            
Division.  In  addition,  she  was unsure  whether  a  temporary  or                                                            
contract  employee  could  conduct  negotiations  on behalf  of  the                                                            
State.  This suggestion  could  be  further  reviewed  and could  be                                                            
funded through the Help America Vote Act.                                                                                       
Co-Chair Wilken  stated that this issue is worthy  of discussion, as                                                            
the voter registration process should be improved.                                                                              
Co-Chair Green remarked  that the voter registration list issue must                                                            
be  frustrating  for  the  Division.  She  estimated  that  half  of                                                            
Division's mailings are returned.                                                                                               
Ms. Glaiser nodded in affirmation.                                                                                              
1:28:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Dyson  asked for further information about  how the Division                                                            
could change the  voter registration list so that  potential victims                                                            
could be protected from perpetrators.                                                                                           
1:28:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Glaiser  explained that  SB 284, which  became law the  previous                                                            
Session,  would  allow any  voter  who had  a separate  mailing  and                                                            
residence  address to  keep their  residence  address protected.  In                                                            
addition,  law now  specified that  the Division  could not  release                                                            
information such as a social security number or date of birth.                                                                  
Senator Olson inquired  as to how people in Rural areas of the State                                                            
that do not have such things  as post office box mail delivery would                                                            
be able  to receive absentee  ballots or  other mailings. He  voiced                                                            
concern  that voter  apathy might  occur were  those individuals  to                                                            
think their ballots would be questioned.                                                                                        
Ms. Glaiser  understood  the question  to be how  to ensure  by-mail                                                            
voters  or absentee  voters that their  votes would  be counted.  In                                                            
other words, the  question is whether this bill might  provide those                                                            
people  further consideration.  She  voiced the  understanding  that                                                            
there  is nothing  currently  in the bill  that  would address  this                                                            
concern. The action  of a voter "to keep their registration  current                                                            
is the most important thing".                                                                                                   
Ms. Glaiser expressed that  Alaska is "a great State" because people                                                            
call the regional  Election office  if they do not receive  a ballot                                                            
or something expected does  not arrive. The only section that speaks                                                            
primarily   to   Rural  communities   is   the   section   regarding                                                            
undeliverable   addresses  in  REAA/CRSA  election  districts.   The                                                            
Division would  no longer send a ballot to an address  that is known                                                            
to be undeliverable. "That is an election integrity question."                                                                  
1:31:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green ascertained  therefore, that,  at some point,  it is                                                            
incumbent upon the voter to be aware.                                                                                           
Ms. Glaiser  stated that the undeliverable  address ballot  issue is                                                            
addressed in  Sec. 25 of the bill.  She qualified that the  decision                                                            
to not send  a ballot to an undeliverable  address would  only apply                                                            
to  the REAA/CRSA  elections,  which  are exclusively  conducted  by                                                            
mail. It would not apply  to absentee voting by mail ballots as that                                                            
process  is one  in which  the  voter first  sends  the Division  an                                                            
application  containing  a mailing address  to which  the ballot  is                                                            
then sent. That procedure would maintain the process integrity.                                                                 
1:32:21 PM                                                                                                                    
JOE  SONNEMAN  informed  the  Committee  that  he  holds  a  PhD  in                                                            
Government  and has a Law Degree.  This education has attributed  to                                                            
his interest in  election procedures. He mentioned  that at one time                                                            
he had  filed a lawsuit  to assist  in restoring  the State's  long-                                                            
standing   practice   of  rotating   candidate   names.  He   voiced                                                            
appreciation  for the fact  that the House  State Affairs  Committee                                                            
incorporated  rotation  provisions into  the bill  at zero cost.  To                                                            
that point,  he asked that the Committee  support that language  and                                                            
the other provisions supported by the House in the bill.                                                                        
Mr. Sonneman  continued  that he  had also  served as  chair of  the                                                            
Alaskans  for Fair Elections  group  that was involved  in the  2004                                                            
State recount  effort. Thus he has  reviewed the provisions  in this                                                            
bill that address  the recount issue.  Again, he voiced support  for                                                            
the  work conducted  by  the House  committees  in that  regard.  He                                                            
"commended  the  House version  of  the bill  to the  Committee  for                                                            
consideration.  The differences between the bill that  reported from                                                            
the House  and the Senate  committee substitute  is that the  Senate                                                            
version basically re-instills  "soft money. It would allow unlimited                                                            
spending   for  political   party   building  with   no  record   of                                                            
contribution  or  expenditure".  While  people  who  support  strong                                                            
political  parties might  favor that  endeavor, he  opined that  the                                                            
"wider Alaskan  view" might  differ. He noted  that an amendment  to                                                            
delete  that language  could  be  forthcoming,  that and  he  "would                                                            
commend that amendment".                                                                                                        
Mr. Sonneman  addressed language in  Sec. 57, which was included  in                                                            
the  House version  of  the bill,  but not  included  in the  Senate                                                            
committee substitute.  Sec. 57 would redefine political  parties and                                                            
lower the qualifier  requirement from three percent  to two percent.                                                            
Currently,  the Alaska Independence  Party,  which more than  likely                                                            
draws votes from the Republican  Party, would qualify as a political                                                            
party under either the  two or three percent requirement. The change                                                            
to two percent  would allow the Green  Party to continue  to qualify                                                            
as  a  political  party.  That  would   affect  the  votes  for  the                                                            
Democratic  Party  "almost  to  the same  degree  that"  the  Alaska                                                            
Independence  Party would  affect the Republican  Party.  Therefore,                                                            
one could say  that the House version of the bill  "is more balanced                                                            
on its affect on the major  parties and preserves smaller parties in                                                            
Mr. Sonneman shared  that he has closely followed  this bill through                                                            
its House processings.  The House  committees did good work,  and he                                                            
commended the  House Version to the Committee. Were  the Senate bill                                                            
to be favored, he urged that Sec. 57 be re-incorporated into it.                                                                
MYRL THOMPSON,  who defined  himself as a  Susitna Valley  resident,                                                            
past  Legislative  candidate,   and initiative   and  recall  effort                                                            
participant,  voiced  that  he has  followed  the movement  of  this                                                            
legislation  through  its  House and  Senate  hearing  process.  The                                                            
Senate State Affairs committee  substitute, which added Sections 11,                                                            
12, and 13, "poisoned" a very good House bill.                                                                                  
1:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Thompson  applauded  the efforts  conducted by  the Division  of                                                            
Elections  and  the  House.  However,  the  Senate's   inclusion  of                                                            
Sections  11, 12,  and 13  would push  "backwards"  campaign  reform                                                            
efforts  intended to reduce  "soft money"  from out-of-State  "5270"                                                            
special interest groups  influencing Alaskan politics. Therefore, he                                                            
asked that Sections  11, 12, and 13 be omitted from  the bill. "Soft                                                            
money"  would  also place  small  political  groups at  "a  distinct                                                            
disadvantage".  He defined "soft money"  as money that "there  is no                                                            
trail on".                                                                                                                      
Mr. Thompson  noted that 51-percent  of voters in the State  have no                                                            
party affiliation.  The Senate State Affair's action  of eliminating                                                            
the changes  the House  proposed in  Sec. 57 would  result in  there                                                            
being fewer  qualified small  political parties  in the State.  This                                                            
would serve to  increase the number of non-party affiliated  voters.                                                            
Mr. Thompson  stated  that the  people  of the State  have  strongly                                                            
supported campaign  reform efforts opposing soft money.  The removal                                                            
of language  in Sec. 57  that would decrease  the percent of  voters                                                            
required in support  of a political party from three  percent to two                                                            
percent of  registered voters and  the addition of Sections  11, 12,                                                            
and  13,  that   would  allow  for   increased  "soft  money",   are                                                            
contentious  issues to him. He shared  that during discussions  with                                                            
some employees  of the  Alaska Public Offices  Commission (APOC)  it                                                            
was apparent  that they "strongly  disagreed" with the inclusion  of                                                            
Sections 11, 12,  and 13 in the bill. He voiced disappointment  that                                                            
representatives  from  APOC  have  not  testified  in  this  regard.                                                            
Nonetheless, their opposition "is on record".                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green assured  that APOC was aware of today's hearing. APOC                                                            
"is set up to administer the law; they do not set policy".                                                                      
Mr. Thompson  interjected  that it was his  understanding that  APOC                                                            
had been unaware  of the Senate State  Affairs Committee  hearing on                                                            
the bill.  After that hearing,  the bill was  supposed to have  been                                                            
transmitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee.                                                                                  
1:41:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green specified  that APOC  does not,  "set policy  nor do                                                            
they write law. They implement the law and the policy".                                                                         
Mr. Thompson acknowledged.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair Green  asked whether State  action could impact  the action                                                            
of a "5-27".                                                                                                                    
Mr. Thompson  determined  that State  action would  not affect  this                                                            
federal law.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green stated  that her  question was  directed to  clarify                                                            
remarks made  by Mr. Thompson  in this regard;  State action  "would                                                            
not  change the  status"  of that  law which  would  allow for  "the                                                            
complete  formation of  a group that  has a set  purpose to  receive                                                            
unlimited"  support. The  reality is  that "we have  no impact  over                                                            
that". Furthermore,  she questioned the statistical  validity of how                                                            
many  people  are  aligned  with  a  party,  as,  according  to  her                                                            
calculations, approximately  35 to 40 percent of the people on voter                                                            
mailing  lists  "don't exist".  Were  those  lists cleaned  up,  the                                                            
numbers  might reflect  there being  a greater  number of  organized                                                            
party voters.  The numbers could "be skewed" were  the whole numbers                                                            
factored in.                                                                                                                    
Mr. Thompson commented  that by passing Sections 11, 12, and 13, the                                                            
State  would be  "setting up  a quasi  5-27. In  other words,  we're                                                            
getting money  influencing  our system that  we don't have  any idea                                                            
where its coming  from…big money doesn't come from  small people, it                                                            
comes from groups  that are certainly interested in  influencing our                                                            
politics  and with no record  of them, that's  the reason that  APOC                                                            
has some problem because that's something that they do".                                                                        
1:43:46 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green  reiterated  that,  "they  can  have  their  problem                                                            
personally, but as a matter  of policy, they implement Statute. They                                                            
implement regulation. They  do not establish law or policy. They are                                                            
welcome to testify  personally, but not on Statute  being proposed."                                                            
Mr. Thompson  stressed  that  Sections 11,  12, and  13 would  allow                                                            
"soft money".                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Green  expressed that Alaska  is unique in regards  "to the                                                            
ability of the level" of  the party's participation with candidates.                                                            
Alaska's  qualifications  "are  very  low" when  compared  to  other                                                            
states.  "Our candidacy  and  active campaigns  does  more to  party                                                            
building  than  the  party  does"  for  the  candidate  "as  far  as                                                            
financing  our  campaigns".  The  low limit  that  the  party  could                                                            
contribute does not allow otherwise.                                                                                            
The bill was HELD in Committee.                                                                                                 
RECESS TO CALL OF CHAIR: 1:45:02 PM / 6:56:25 PM                                                                            
     SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 94(STA)                                                                                
     "An Act relating to  qualifications of voters, requirements and                                                            
     procedures  regarding independent candidates  for President and                                                            
     Vice-President of  the United States, voter registration, voter                                                            
     residence, precinct  boundary and polling place designation and                                                            
     modification,  political  parties, voters  unaffiliated  with a                                                            
     political party, early  voting, absentee voting, ballot design,                                                            
     ballot  counting, voting by mail,  voting machines,  vote tally                                                            
     systems,   qualifications  for   elected  office,  initiative,                                                             
     referendum,  recall,  and definitions  in  the Alaska  Election                                                            
     Code; and relating to incorporation elections."                                                                            
The bill was again before the Committee.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Green  asked whether there  were any further questions  for                                                            
the  Division  of Elections  in  regards  to  this bill.  None  were                                                            
Amendment #1:  This amendment deletes  the entirety of Sections  11,                                                            
12,  and 13  from the  bill, beginning  on  page nine,  line 20  and                                                            
concluding on page 11, line 14.                                                                                                 
In addition,  the amendment replaces  Applicability references  "34-                                                            
57" with "31 - 54" in Sec. 65, on page 35, line two.                                                                            
Senator Hoffman  offered Amendment  #1, on behalf of Senator  Olson.                                                            
Co-Chair Green objected.                                                                                                        
Senator Hoffman  explained that the removal of these  sections would                                                            
address the concerns relating to "soft money".                                                                                  
Co-Chair Green restated  her earlier comments in regards to the fact                                                            
that the  State could not  influence the  federal law pertaining  to                                                            
"5-27s". These sections  would simply allow "some money to go to the                                                            
party  for  party  building".  Since this  State  has  much  tighter                                                            
restrictions than  other states in regard to the amount  of money an                                                            
individual  or an organized party  could contribute to a  candidate,                                                            
the  levels of  concern  in this  regard would  be  lower than  that                                                            
experienced in other states. "The roof is low in our State."                                                                    
Senator Dyson voiced appreciation  for the issues brought forward in                                                            
this discussion.  He noted  that a  friend of  his from Florida  had                                                            
commented  that  Alaska's  "election process  is  so unique  and  so                                                            
precious, we ought  to be very very careful about  messing with it."                                                            
Even though  extreme efforts have  been exerted in this regard,  the                                                            
opportunity  is there for  it to be "messed  with". While it  is "an                                                            
imperfect  system", the language  in question  "is at least  a small                                                            
attempt to allow  some other folks to have access  to resources". He                                                            
voiced being "comfortable with the situation at this time".                                                                     
Senator Hoffman  thought, incorrectly, that Senator  Dyson's initial                                                            
remarks about "not messing  with the system" were an indication that                                                            
he was  going to  support the  amendment, as  removing the  Sections                                                            
would "not mess with the system".                                                                                               
A roll call was taken on the motion.                                                                                            
IN FAVOR: Senator Hoffman                                                                                                       
OPPOSED: Senator Dyson, Co-Chair Wilken, and Co-Chair Green                                                                     
ABSENT: Senator Stedman, Senator Bunde, and Senator Olson                                                                       
The motion FAILED (1-3-3)                                                                                                       
Amendment #1 FAILED.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Wilken  moved  to  report the  bill  from  Committee  with                                                            
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
There  being  no  objection,  SCS  HB 94  (STA)  was  REPORTED  from                                                            
Committee  with zero FY  07 fiscal  note #3, dated  April 21,  2005,                                                            
from the Division  of Elections, Office  of he Lieutenant  Governor.                                                            
7:01:13 PM                                                                                                                    

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