Legislature(2023 - 2024)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/07/2023 03:30 PM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                         SB  19-ELECTIONS; BALLOTS                                                                          
   3:32:41 PM                                                                                                                 
   CHAIR KAWASAKI announced the consideration of SENATE BILL NO. 19                                                             
"An  Act  relating  to  elections;  and  providing   for an  effective                                                          
Speaking  as  the  sponsor   of  SB 19,  Senator   Kawasaki  explained                                                          
that  the  purpose  of  the  legislation   is  to  modernize  Alaska's                                                          
election  system   by building   on  the  successes  in  the  2020  and                                                         
2022  election  cycles.  This  is done  by  removing  barriers  to  the                                                         
ballot  box,  ensuring  that  voters  are  able  to  register  and  get                                                         
verified  to  vote, and  ensuring  election  security  and  integrity.                                                          
SB  19  provides  provisions   for  automatic   renewal  for  absentee                                                          
voting,   a  ballot  tracking   system,   signature   verification,   a                                                         
curing  process   for  absentee   ballots,   a  provision  on  prepaid                                                          
postage  for  mailed  ballots,  and  a requirement   for  the Division                                                          
of  Elections  to inform  voters  about  problems  with  their ballot.                                                          
These provisions are all codified in law.                                                                                       
3:34:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MATT  LONGABAUGH,   Staff,   Senator  Scott  Kawasaki,   Alaska   State                                                         
Legislature,   Juneau,  Alaska,  paraphrased   the  sponsor  statement                                                          
for SB 19.                                                                                                                      
     Over   360,000   Alaskans   voted  in   the  2020   election                                                               
     making  it  the election  with  the greatest  participation                                                                
     in  Alaska  history.  Yet  173,000  Alaskans  were  eligible                                                               
     to  vote  or register   to vote  but  did not.  Senate  Bill                                                               
     19  seeks  to  build  upon  the  participatory   success  of                                                               
     the    2020   election    by   strengthening     the   voter                                                               
     registration    system,    paying   postage    for   by-mail                                                               
     absentee  ballots,  and  requiring  the  Alaska Division  of                                                               
     Elections   to offer  absentee   voters  the  option  to fix                                                               
     errors    in   their   ballots.   This   bill    facilitates                                                               
     participation   for  those  legally  eligible   to vote  and                                                               
     ensures    the   integrity   of   elections    by   updating                                                               
     absentee ballot verification and curing.                                                                                   
     Currently,   voters  are not  notified  of  errors  in their                                                               
     absentee    ballots    until    after   the    election   is                                                               
     certified.   Over   7,500  ballots  were   rejected  in  the                                                               
     2022  special  primary  election,  a 4.55%  rejection  rate.                                                               
     That's   about  1/20  ballots.  On  average,  some  in  this                                                               
     room's ballot was rejected.                                                                                                
     Voters  still  must  fill  out a  formal  application  every                                                               
     year.   While  Alaska   has  a  permanent   absentee   voter                                                               
     list,  it  is authorized  by  regulation,  not statute.  The                                                               
     current   list  is reserved   for  those  who live  in  very                                                               
     rural   areas,  the  disabled,   and  persons  who  live  in                                                               
        institutions    that   serve   elders   or  those   with   a                                                            
        disability.    Moreover,    those   on   the    list   don't                                                            
        automatically    receive  an   absentee   ballot,   just  an                                                            
        application for a ballot.                                                                                               
        This  bill requires  the  state to  pay return  postage  for                                                            
        by-mail  absentee  ballots.   It requires  the  Division  of                                                            
        Elections  to  provide  an option  for each  absentee  voter                                                            
        to  permanently  receive  the absentee  ballot  unless  that                                                            
        voter  should  not  vote  in  a period  of  four  years,  or                                                            
        the  absentee  ballot were  returned  to the  department  as                                                            
        undeliverable.   This  bill  also  requires  each  voter  to                                                            
        sign  the  ballot.  That  signature   needs  to  match  that                                                            
        voter's  signature   in  the  voter  registration   database                                                            
        using   signature   comparison    software,   and   election                                                            
        workers   comparing    signatures   are   required   to   be                                                            
        trained in use of the software.                                                                                         
        SB  19 also  establishes  a  ballot  tracking  system  and a                                                            
        ballot   curing   process.   The   ballot   curing   process                                                            
        requires    the   division   to   notify   voters   if   the                                                            
        signature   on their  ballot   does not  match  the  one  on                                                            
        their  registration.   This  bill  allows  family   members,                                                            
        caregivers,   elections   officials,   postal  workers,   or                                                            
        volunteers   from  nonpartisan   nonprofit   organizations,                                                             
        like  the League  of Women  Voters,  to deliver  ballots  to                                                            
        drop  off  locations   and  establishes  a  clear  chain  of                                                            
        custody thereof.                                                                                                        
        Voting  rights   are fundamental   to  American  Democracy,                                                             
        which  works  best  when eligible   voters  can participate                                                             
        and  have  the  freedom  to  choose  our  elected   leaders.                                                            
        Expanding  and  broadening  the  ability  for  all  eligible                                                            
        Alaskans   to  vote   ensures   that  these   freedoms   and                                                            
        rights  prevail.  I respectfully   urge your  support  of SB
        19. Please reach out to my office with any questions.                                                                   
   3:38:06 PM                                                                                                                 
   MIKE MASON,  Staff,  Senator  Loki Tobin,  Alaska  State  Legislature,                                                       
   Juneau,  Alaska,  advised  that  he  had  spent  the last  four  years                                                       
   working  on election  reform  legislation  that  included many  of the                                                       
   provisions   in  SB   19.  He  presented   the   following   sectional                                                       
        Section  1.  AS 15.20.030   Adds the  words  a postage-paid                                                           
        return  envelope  requiring  the  Division  to  pay for  by-                                                            
        mail absentee ballot return envelopes.                                                                                  
     Section 2. AS 15.20.081                                                                                                  
     Adds    a    new    subsection:    (m)    Absentee    ballot                                                               
     applications    must  include   an   option  for   qualified                                                               
     voters   to choose  to  receive  ballots   by mail  and  the                                                               
     department   may not  require the  voter  to reapply  unless                                                               
     the  (1) voter  has  not voted  absentee  for four  years or                                                               
     (2)   a  ballot   was   returned   to   the  department   as                                                               
     Section 3. AS 15.20.203(a)                                                                                               
     Amends  section  requiring  the  local elections   boards to                                                               
     determine   if the  signature   on the  ballot  matches  the                                                               
     voter's signature in their voter registration.                                                                             
     Section 4. AS 15.20.203 (b)                                                                                              
     Amends   the   section   adding   AS   15.20.203(b)(7)   and                                                               
     deleting     AS   15.20.203(b)(6)(B)(ii).      Adding    (7)                                                               
     requires   the  signature   on  the  voter's  ballot  to  be                                                               
     consistent    with    the   signature    on    their   voter                                                               
     registration.     Deleting     AS    15.20.203(b)(6)(B)(ii)                                                                
     removes   the  requirement   that  voters   must  provide  a                                                               
     current    utility   bill,    bank   statement,    paycheck,                                                               
     government   check, or  other  government  document  to have                                                               
     their ballot counted.                                                                                                      
     Section 5. AS 15.20.203                                                                                                  
     Adds   new  subsection:    (k)  District   absentee   ballot                                                               
     counting   boards   shall   determine   whether   a  voter's                                                               
     signature   on his ballot  matches  his  signature  in voter                                                               
     registration   records  using  a verification  process  that                                                               
     includes signature comparison software.                                                                                    
     Section 6. AS 15.20                                                                                                      
     Adds   two  sections:   Sec.  15.20.221.   Ballot   tracking                                                               
     system    and  Sec.   15.20.222.    Procedure   for   curing                                                               
     uncounted ballot.                                                                                                          
     Sec.  15.20.221.   Subsection   (a)  requires  the  Director                                                             
     to   establish  a  free   online  system   through  which  a                                                               
     voter  may:  confirm  their  ballot  has  been  sent  by the                                                               
     division,   track  the  date  of  the  ballots  delivery  to                                                               
     the  voter,  confirm   the  receipt  of  the ballot   by the                                                               
     division,   determine   whether   the  voter's   certificate                                                               
     has  been  reviewed,   and determine   whether  the  voter's                                                               
     ballot has been counted.                                                                                                   
        Subsection   (b) requires  the  online  system  to  indicate                                                            
        whether  the  signature  on  the  ballot  is missing  or  is                                                            
        not a match with the signature on the registration.                                                                     
        Subsection   (c)  requires   the  online  system   to  allow                                                            
        elected   officials  to  access  the  names  and  political                                                             
        affiliations   of   the  names   on  the   master   register                                                            
        including    a   person   whose   registration    has   been                                                            
        Sec.  15.20.222.   Subsection  (a)  requires   the  director                                                          
        to  send  a notification   by non-forwardable   first-class                                                             
        mail,  email,  or  phone  if  the  voter  returns  a  ballot                                                            
        and  that voter  does  not  have a  signature  on file,  the                                                            
        signature   on   the  ballot   does  not   match  with   the                                                            
        signature   on  file  or  their  ballot   does  not  have  a                                                            
        Subsection   (b) requires  the  notification   under (a)  to                                                            
        include   an  explanation    of  the  need   for  signature                                                             
        verification,   provide  a form  and  instructions  for  the                                                            
        voter  to  confirm   they  returned  their   ballot  to  the                                                            
        division  or  provide a  piece  of identification   accepted                                                            
        in   AS   15.07.060(e)    or  provide    a   signature   for                                                            
        Subsection   (c)  allows  a ballot  to  be  counted  if  the                                                            
        division   receives    the  form   provided    for  in   the                                                            
        previous   section  within  14  days  after  election   day,                                                            
        the  voter  provides   a  signature  for  verification,   or                                                            
        the ballot is otherwise valid.                                                                                          
        Subsection   (d) does  not  allow  a voter's  ballot  to  be                                                            
        counted   if   they  return   the   form  in   (b)   and  it                                                            
        indicates  they  did  not  return  a ballot,  or  the  voter                                                            
        did not return that form.                                                                                               
        Subsection   (e)  does not  allow  elections   officials  to                                                            
        determine   the  signature  on  the  returned   ballot  does                                                            
        not  match   the  signature   in  the   voter  registration                                                             
        solely   based  on   the  use  of  initials   or   a  common                                                            
        Subsection    (f)  requires    the   director   to   provide                                                            
        training  in  signature  comparison  and  use  of signature                                                             
        comparison   software  to election   officials  who  compare                                                            
     Subsection   (g)  requires   the  division   to  update  the                                                               
     voter's   signature    if  the   voter   provides   accepted                                                               
     identification   like  a state  ID  and a  new signature  or                                                               
     they cure an old signature.                                                                                                
     Section 7. AS 15.56.035(a)                                                                                               
     Amends   AS  15.56.035(a)  by  allowing   a  family  member,                                                               
     caregiver,   an  election  official   or  worker,  a  postal                                                               
     service    employee    or   private   commercial    delivery                                                               
     service  employee,   or a  volunteer  from  a charitable  or                                                               
     educational   organization   exempt  under  U.S.C  501(c)(3)                                                               
     can  deliver  ballots  to  designated  locations  on  behalf                                                               
     of voters.                                                                                                                 
     Section 8.                                                                                                               
     Repeals   15.20.203(j),   15.20.207(k),  and  15.20.211(f).                                                                
     These   sections  related  to  the  current   online  system                                                               
     which   allowed  voters   to  check  the   status  of  their                                                               
     Section 9.                                                                                                               
     Adds  applicability   language  for AS  15.56.035(a)  saying                                                               
     that  offenses  under  this  section  apply  to offenses  on                                                               
     or after the effective date.                                                                                               
     Section 10.                                                                                                              
     The  director   of  the division   of  elections  may  adopt                                                               
     regulations    to  implement   this   bill  and   they  take                                                               
     effect after the effective date of this Act.                                                                               
     Section 11.                                                                                                              
     Section 10 shall take effect immediately.                                                                                  
     Section 12.                                                                                                              
     This act shall take effect Jan 1, 2024.                                                                                    
MR. MASON identified the individuals invited to provide                                                                         
CHAIR KAWASAKI noted who was available to answer questions and                                                                  
provide invited testimony.                                                                                                      
3:47:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked whether the Division of Elections had                                                                
a position on the bill.                                                                                                         
   3:47:39 PM                                                                                                                 
   CAROL  BEECHER,  Director,   Division  of  Elections,  Office   of the                                                       
   Lieutenant  Governor,  Anchorage,  Alaska,  stated  that the  division                                                       
   did not have a position on SB 19.                                                                                            
   CHAIR KAWASAKI turned to invited testimony.                                                                                  
   3:48:36 PM                                                                                                                 
   BARBARA  SMITH  WARNER,  Executive  Director,  National  Vote  at Home                                                       
   Institute,  Teams,  Provided   invited  testimony   in support   of  SB
   19. She  paraphrased  her  prepared  testimony  that  may be  found  on                                                      
   BASIS.  She stated  that  the goal  for Vote  at Home  is  to increase                                                       
   voter access  to,  use of,  and  confidence  in voting  at  home. This                                                       
   system  has been  used in  Oregon  for over  20  years. She  expressed                                                       
   support  for  Alaska   joining   other  states  that   have  initiated                                                       
   voting   reforms   that   increase    voter   turnout   and   election                                                       
   MS.  SMITH   WARNER  described   the  benefits   SB  19   provides   to                                                      
   voters, election officials, and democracy.                                                                                   
   Permanent Absentee Voter Option                                                                                            
   similar SB 19 gives voters the option  to vote  absentee   permanently                                                       
    with a single request. Seven other states use "single signup."                                                              
   similar Voters are given a reminder to vote in each election, which  is                                                      
     particularly important in local elections.                                                                                 
   similar Election officials benefit by  saving  time,   paperwork,  and                                                       
     administrative costs.                                                                                                      
   similar Single sign up has proven to be highly secure.                                                                       
   similar Anything that reduces friction in elections tends  to increase                                                       
     voter engagement and turnout.                                                                                              
   Prepaid Postage                                                                                                            
   similar Prepaid postage for absentee  ballots   is  easier   and  more                                                       
    convenient for voters. It's a simple change that can increase                                                               
     voter engagement.                                                                                                          
   similar This streamlines functions for elections officials and is more                                                       
     "budget friendly."                                                                                                         
   Ballot Tracking                                                                                                            
   similar Ballot tracking lets voters know where their ballot  is in the                                                       
        process. This reduces anxiety and helps to give voters                                                                  
     confidence in the system.                                                                                                  
   similar A number of states provide  ballot  tracking   and  there  are                                                       
          multiple vendors with software to make the process                                                                    
similar The response from voters has been overwhelmingly positive.  She                                                         
   cited substantiating 2020 research data from Capitol Weekly                                                                  
   and published by BallotTrax.                                                                                                 
similar This is a powerful tool for elections officials.                                                                        
similar States that used ballot tracking  software  report  meaningful                                                          
   increases in turnout among voters who signed up to track their                                                               
   by-mail ballots.                                                                                                             
3:56:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Ballot Curing                                                                                                                 
similar SB 19 provides a simple way for  voters  to  cure  errors  they                                                         
   unknowingly made on their absentee ballots. This reduces voter                                                               
similar Election officials want every legitimate vote to be counted.                                                            
similar The official US Elections Assistance  Commission  EAVS  report                                                          
   for the 2020 election showed that over 50 percent of                                                                         
   rejections were due to things that a robust curing process                                                                   
   could easily address.                                                                                                        
similar Ballot curing is used successfully in 24 states.                                                                        
MS.  SMITH WARNER  stated  that  the only  suggestion  she  would  make                                                         
for  SB 19  is  that it  is  redundant  to require  a  witness  on  the                                                         
return  envelope  and  might  be  an  impediment  for  some  voters  to                                                         
use  absentee ballots.  The  existing  strong  signature  verification                                                          
along  with  the  new  provision  for  ballot  curing  eliminates   the                                                         
need for that signature.                                                                                                        
MS.  SMITH  WARNER  concluded  her  testimony  stating  that  the  four                                                         
proposed  reforms  in  SB 19  would  move  Alaska  into the  forefront                                                          
of policies   that are  "voter  centric."  The bill  will  help voters                                                          
and election officials and strengthen democracy overall.                                                                        
CHAIR KAWASAKI asked if there were questions.                                                                                   
3:58:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  CLAMAN  asked  whether  any jurisdictions   that  had adopted                                                          
signature  verification  encountered   problems  with ballot  fraud  or                                                         
other issues related to signature verification.                                                                                 
MS.  SMITH  WARNER  said  no;  if  the  signatures  don't   match,  the                                                         
ballot  is  ejected   for  an  in-person   second  check.  If  there's                                                          
still  a  discrepancy,   an  election  official   reaches  out  to  the                                                         
voter.  Fraud could  be caught  in  this process,  but  in practice  it                                                         
tends to catch errors.                                                                                                          
   SENATOR  CLAMAN   asked  how  many   jurisdictions,   both  local  and                                                       
   state, have adopted signature verification.                                                                                  
   MS. SMITH WARNER said she would follow up with the answer.                                                                   
   4:01:00 PM                                                                                                                 
   CHAIR   KAWASAKI   asked  if   Oregon   experienced   any   particular                                                       
   difficulties as it moved to an all-by-mail voting system.                                                                    
   MS.  SMITH  WARNER  replied  that  she's  biased,  but  there  haven't                                                       
   been  any difficulties   in the  20  years  since  all-by-mail  voting                                                       
   was implemented.   She  said  it's been  an  opportunity  to  increase                                                       
   voter  engagement  and  reduce  voter disenfranchisement.    She noted                                                       
   that data  from the  2022 election  shows  that  more than  35 percent                                                       
   of voters in the country used by-mail balloting.                                                                             
   CHAIR KAWASAKI thanked Ms. Smith Warner for her testimony.                                                                   
   He  reviewed  Amber  McReynolds'   credentials   and  invited  her   to                                                      
   provide her testimony.                                                                                                       
   4:04:41 PM                                                                                                                 
   AMBER  MCREYNOLDS,  Member,  Board  of  Governors  for  the  US Postal                                                       
   Service,   reviewed   her  credentials   and   20  years'   experience                                                       
   running  elections.   She  relayed  that  her   approach  to  election                                                       
   administration   has  always   been  that   the  policies   should   be                                                      
   nonpartisan.  The  focus should  be on  the voters  and improving  the                                                       
   voting  experience  for all  electors.  She  believes  the  reforms  in                                                      
   SB  19  match  best  practices   that  have  worked  over  time.  They                                                       
   improve  the  operations  and  administration   of elections   and the                                                       
   security  and   integrity  of  elections.   The  bill   also  includes                                                       
   common sense  solutions  that  have been  proven  to work  in both red                                                       
   and blue  states.  She opined  that a  benefit of  by mail  ballots  is                                                      
   that  voters take  more  time  to be  informed  about  the  candidates                                                       
   and issues  on the  ballot.  Mistakes  are reduced  when  voters don't                                                       
   feel rushed.  She  highlighted  that the  NCSL website  has  a link  to                                                      
   "Voting  Outside  the  Polling  Place"  that  categorizes  the  issues                                                       
   related to by mail ballots, some of which are in SB 19.                                                                      
   4:07:45 PM                                                                                                                 
   MS. MCREYNOLDS reviewed the four points in SB 19.                                                                            
   Ballot  tracking  - Her  team  developed  this  system.  It  was first                                                     
   implemented  in  2009  and  now  is  used  by  more  than  90  million                                                       
   voters  in the US.  It also  improves  accountability  and  visibility                                                       
   of by  mail ballots,  which  improves  the security  and  integrity  of                                                      
   the  process.   She  agreed   with  previous   testimony   that  costs                                                       
decrease  with  mail  ballots  and  emphasized  that  whatever  can  be                                                         
done   to  improve   the   process   is   better   for   everyone   who                                                         
participate in this democratic process.                                                                                         
Permanent  Absentee  List  -  This  reduces  costs  and provides   less                                                       
bureaucracy for voters.                                                                                                         
Ballot   Curing  -  SB   19  includes   the  common   sense  and   best                                                       
practice   measures    that   are   considered   the   gold   standard                                                          
nationwide.   She   relayed  anecdotes    of  signature   verification                                                          
processes preventing fraud.                                                                                                     
Prepaid  Postage  -  She  listed  the  states  that  have  this common                                                        
sense  policy   initiative   that  eliminates   bureaucracy,   is  more                                                         
efficient   for   voters,    and   more   predictable   for   election                                                          
MS.  MCREYNOLDS  expressed  admiration  for  the work  that's  been  on                                                         
the   bill.   It   is  an   accumulation    of  best   practices    and                                                         
4:15:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  KAWASAKI  said  the  ballot  in  the  last election   cycle  was                                                         
longer  than  usual and  it took  more  than one  first  class postage                                                          
stamp.  He asked  her to  expand on  the statement  that  the Division                                                          
of  Elections    bears  the   cost   of  ballots   with   insufficient                                                          
MS. MCREYNOLDS   said the  general  policy throughout  the  country  is                                                         
for  the US  Postal Service  to  bill  the election  official  for  the                                                         
total insufficient postage on ballots, which is inefficient.                                                                    
CHAIR  KAWASAKI  said  the  US Postal   Service  does  a great  job  in                                                         
SENATOR  CLAMAN  asked  if  she  agreed  that  the  US Postal  Service                                                          
can bill  for  insufficient  postage,  but the  agency is  required  to                                                         
deliver  all  ballots regardless   of the  postage  that is  or is  not                                                         
MS. MCREYNOLDS   said that's  correct;  it's  a postal  service policy                                                          
and some  states  have laws  mandating  the delivery  of  all ballots.                                                          
She  noted   that  the   US  Department   of  Defense   pays  for   all                                                         
outbound  and  incoming  ballots   for  members  of  the military   who                                                         
are  serving  overseas.  She  advocated  for  the  federal  government                                                          
to pay  the postage  for  the ballots  of all  domestic  voters in  the                                                         
   4:21:25 PM                                                                                                                 
   SENATOR  CLAMAN   asked   if  there  was   a  federal   regulation   or                                                      
   federal  law  that  requires   the  postal   service  to  deliver  all                                                       
   ballots regardless of postage.                                                                                               
   MS. MCREYNOLDS   said Congress  has  never  passed  a law about  that,                                                       
   but  the  US  Postal  Service  has  set  the  policy  to  deliver  all                                                       
   ballots regardless of the postage.                                                                                           
   SENATOR  CLAMAN noted  that  the chair  thinks the  answer  is no, but                                                       
   it is  likely  in regulation.  He  noted  that the  legislature  could                                                       
   pass a  law  that voters  were  not  required  to put  any  postage  on                                                      
   the ballot  envelope  and  the Division  of  Elections  would  get the                                                       
   bill  for  the  postage.    Ms.   McReynolds  responded   and  Senator                                                       
   Claman acknowledged that the question was rhetorical.                                                                        
   MS.  MCREYNOLDS    said  it   would   require   an  extensive   manual                                                       
   CHAIR  KAWASAKI   thanked  her   for  the  testimony.   He  asked  Ms.                                                       
   Beecher to comment.                                                                                                          
   MS.   BEECHER    stated   that   prepaid    envelopes    are   handled                                                       
   differently and ballot tracking may be affected.                                                                             
   CHAIR  KAWASAKI  said the  committee  would  discuss  this  further  in                                                      
   a future meeting.                                                                                                            
   4:26:25 PM                                                                                                                 
   CHRIS  TUCK,   former   legislator   representing   self,   Anchorage,                                                       
   Alaska,  testified  by  invitation  in  support  of  SB  19.  He spoke                                                       
   about  his  interest   in  elections   and  the  elections   bills   he                                                      
   introduced  when  he was  serving  in the  House  of Representatives.                                                        
   In 2012  he introduced   legislation  to apply  once  and continue   to                                                      
   receive  absentee  ballots  until  they  missed   multiple  elections.                                                       
   In 2015  he  sponsored   a comprehensive   election  reform   bill.  It                                                      
   included  same  day registration,   semi-permanent   absentee  voting,                                                       
   and a  verification   process  for early  voting  and  early  absentee                                                       
   voting.  In  2017  he  sponsored   a  comprehensive   election  reform                                                       
   bill.  The bill  passed  the House  but  not  the Senate.  In  2019  he                                                      
   sponsored  a  bill  to  create  semi-permanent   absentee  voting.   It                                                      
   passed the  House,  but the  legislature  ended  early because  of the                                                       
   Covid  pandemic.  Prior  to  the  2021  legislative  session   he pre-                                                       
   filed  another  elections  reform  bill.  The  goal  was to  modernize                                                       
   Alaska's  elections  and remove  obstacles  to casting  a  ballot. The                                                       
bill  had  bipartisan  support  but  still  didn't  pass.  He  said  he                                                         
hasn't  given  up  on his  goal  to improve   elections  transparency,                                                          
accountability,   and access  to Alaska  elections  so he  worked  with                                                         
Senator  Kawasaki   to develop   SB  19.  His hope  is  that  election                                                          
reform will pass the 33 Alaska Legislature.                                                                                     
He  said the  big-picture  goal  of  SB 19  is to  modernize  Alaska's                                                          
election,  building  on the  success  of the  2020 and  2022 elections                                                          
that  had   increased   voter  participation,   primarily   voting   by                                                         
mail.  The   bill  proposes   ballot   tracking,  permanent   absentee                                                          
voting  signature   verification   and  ballot   curing  for  absentee                                                          
ballots, and prepaid return postage for return by-mail ballots.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   TUCK  urged  the  committee   to  pass  SB  19,  which                                                         
will    update   the    voter    processes    in   Alaska,    increase                                                          
transparency, and improve voter access.                                                                                         
4:40:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KAWASAKI held SB 19 in committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 1 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 1 Sectional Analysis.pdf SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 1 backup documents1 Fl.election. integrity.pdf SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 1 backup documents2 election.cybersecurity.pdf SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 1 backup documents3 chain. of.custody.pdf SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 1 backup documents4 post.election.audits.pdf SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 19.Sponsor.Statement.pdf SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 19
Sectional analysis SB 19.pdf SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 19
SB 19 Testimony NVAHI 03.07.2023 (003).pdf SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 19
SD AK SB 1 SB 19 Testimony 3.2023 (003).pdf SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 19
An Open Letter From ERIC.docx SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
Why does Alaska have a 106% voter registration rate.docx SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB0001A.PDF SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB0019A.PDF SSTA 3/7/2023 3:30:00 PM
SB 19