Legislature(2021 - 2022)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/28/2022 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE

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09:04:10 AM Start
09:04:38 AM SB39
10:42:49 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 28, 2022                                                                                            
                         9:04 a.m.                                                                                              
9:04:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Bishop called the Senate Finance Committee meeting                                                                     
to order at 9:04 a.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Click Bishop, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Bert Stedman, Co-Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Senator Mike Shower, Sponsor; Scott Ogan, Staff for Senator                                                                     
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Gail Fenumiai, Director, Division of Elections; Thomas                                                                          
Flynn, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law.                                                                           
SB 39     BALLOT CUSTODY/TAMPERING; VOTER REG; MAIL                                                                             
          SB 39 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
SENATE BILL NO. 39                                                                                                            
     "An  Act  relating  to  elections;  relating  to  voter                                                                    
     registration;  relating  to  ballots and  a  system  of                                                                    
     tracking  and accounting  for ballots;  establishing an                                                                    
     election  offense hotline;  designating  as  a class  A                                                                    
     misdemeanor  the  collection   of  ballots  from  other                                                                    
     voters;   designating  as   a   class   C  felony   the                                                                    
     intentional opening or tampering  with a sealed ballot,                                                                    
     certificate,    or   package    of   ballots    without                                                                    
     authorization  from the  director  of  the division  of                                                                    
     elections; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
9:04:38 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Bishop  relayed that it  was the first  hearing for                                                                    
SB  39.  The  committee's  intention  was  to  hear  a  bill                                                                    
introduction,  consider a  sectional analysis,  and set  the                                                                    
bill aside.                                                                                                                     
9:05:10 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MIKE SHOWER, SPONSOR, stated  that the genesis of SB
39 came from  the 2016 election. He recounted  that over the                                                                    
course of  two years there  were so many articles  about the                                                                    
vulnerability  of   the  election  system,  he   decided  to                                                                    
investigate  the  matter to  see  if  there were  areas  for                                                                    
improvement.  He thought  different sides  of the  political                                                                    
spectrum  were  upset  at  various times.  He  read  from  a                                                                    
Sponsor Statement (copy on file):                                                                                               
     If  a  society does  not  have  confidence in  how  its                                                                    
     public officials are elected,  then the very foundation                                                                    
     of our  Republic is compromised.? SB 39 is  the product                                                                  
     of  four  years  of  work   attempting  to  regain  the                                                                    
     public's confidence  in the sacred and  unique right to                                                                    
     choose  our  leadership  without a  shot  being  fired,                                                                    
     unlike what  we witness  in other  parts of  the world.                                                                    
     Such  as when  Iraqi's proudly  displayed their  thumbs                                                                    
     covered in  ink when they  had a chance to  freely vote                                                                    
     for their leaders.                                                                                                         
     SB  39  has  gone  through  several  changes  from  its                                                                    
     original  inception.? The  latest  version has  been  a                                                                  
     collaborative  effort  built   around  the  concept  of                                                                    
     "making it easy to vote and  hard to cheat". One of the                                                                    
     greatest   challenges  to   election   reform  is   the                                                                    
     significantly opposing viewpoints  across the political                                                                    
     spectrum.? One view  is making  it very  easy to  vote,                                                                  
     which  may make  it easier  to cheat.? On the  opposite                                                                  
     spectrum  if it's  hard  to cheat,  this  can pose  the                                                                    
     challenge  of  making  it  harder  to  vote.? Polarized                                                                  
     partisans  have  co-opted  the issue  with  accusations                                                                    
     from  both sides.  We believe  it's time  to move  past                                                                    
     this narrative and take a positive step forward.                                                                           
     Our office has  taken the approach of  looking for ways                                                                    
     to strike  a balance  with people on  both side  of the                                                                    
     equation.? For example,  this bill  addresses same  day                                                                  
     voter registration,?on the  easier to  vote wish  list.                                                                  
     Our  operating  principle  was   to  ensure  the  voter                                                                    
     provides  sufficient proof  they  have  been an  actual                                                                    
     resident  of  the  district  for   30  days,  signs  an                                                                    
     affidavit affirming  so under  penalty of  perjury, and                                                                    
     votes on  a question  ballot.? Both sides were  able to                                                                  
     reach  a consensus.? This  metric  makes  it easier  to                                                                  
     vote, and still hard to cheat.? We respectfully ask our                                                                  
     colleagues   to   apply   this   policy   metric   when                                                                    
     considering  amendments  to  this measure  as  well  as                                                                    
     their support for the bill.                                                                                                
     SB 39 strives to make  the process open and transparent                                                                    
     by  being a  national leader  in embracing  open source                                                                    
     voting, a digital  concept which eliminates proprietary                                                                    
     hardware  and software,  allowing  open  access to  the                                                                    
     public  to  mitigate  real or  imagined  concerns  over                                                                    
     digitally  tainted  results.? Open-source  systems  are                                                                  
     never  hooked   up  online,  cell  tower   or  wireless                                                                    
     network,  and  all  equipment utilizes  off  the  shelf                                                                    
     hardware.? Let's put  the ballot  machine arguments  to                                                                  
     Over  registration  on  our voter  rolls  have  been  a                                                                    
     consistent  problem  for  Alaska  with  an  average  of                                                                    
     40,000  people moving  into, and  40,000 people  moving                                                                    
     out of the  state, each year.? Several measures in SB39                                                                  
     help?clean up the rolls.? One is requiring the state to                                                                
     use more data bases with  better up to date information                                                                    
     and requiring  the state to  educate and  inform people                                                                    
     who  have moved  - to  unregister.? Requiring a  yearly                                                                  
     report  to  the legislature  will  help  us?improve the                                                                  
     accuracy of our voter rolls.                                                                                               
     Ballot chain of custody  protocols are strengthened. As                                                                    
     well as  bar code  tracking for  ballots to  maintain a                                                                    
     more robust  chain of custody  when a ballot is  out of                                                                    
     the control  of the Division of  Elections and provides                                                                    
     a quick "curing"  if a voter makes  a technical mistake                                                                    
     that would have previously disqualified their vote.                                                                        
9:09:32 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Shower continued to address the Sponsor Statement:                                                                      
     Digital  ballot  tracking  through a  phone  or  online                                                                    
     application  will  increase  ballot  chain  of  custody                                                                    
     providing  a forensic  digital trail.??Many measures in                                                                  
     the   bill  allow   easier  voting   opportunities  but                                                                    
     incur?stiff penalties for violating those  voting laws,                                                                  
    thus making it easier to vote and harder to cheat.                                                                          
     Our voting laws are complex as  this bill demonstrates.                                                                    
     These are  just a  few?examples of the  effort, thought                                                                  
     and compromise  put into the  bill, but  the principles                                                                    
     remain.? Reasonable people  can disagree,  but the  bi-                                                                  
     partisan  sponsors in  each  body  carefully crafted  a                                                                    
     collaborative   effort,   in   an   attempt   to   show                                                                    
     Alaskans?and perhaps the country that pragmatic working                                                                  
     solutions   can    be   achieved.?  Our    office   has                                                                  
     preconferenced  the issues  where?possible to  mitigate                                                                  
     confusion and  expedite the end  of session hope?to get                                                                  
     election reform across the finish line.? We welcome the                                                                  
     public's and  policy maker's  discussion on  the latest                                                                    
     version of SB39 and  its "companion" legislation in the                                                                    
     Thank you  for hearing the  bill and I look  forward to                                                                    
     answering your  questions and,  with your  help, moving                                                                    
     bi-partisan common sense election  reform by the end of                                                                    
     the 32nd legislative session.                                                                                              
Senator  Shower emphasized  the  bi-partisan sponsorship  of                                                                    
the bill. He thought the  bill integrated the important core                                                                    
concepts of  election reform that  everyone could  agree on.                                                                    
He  discussed  risks  to elections  and  the  potential  for                                                                    
cyber-attacks.  He referenced  113,000  Alaskans whose  data                                                                    
was  compromised. He  wanted the  Division  of Elections  to                                                                    
have the  resources to address problems.  He emphasized that                                                                    
the  problem concerned  all  state  agencies. He  summarized                                                                    
that from 2016 to 2020  there were many articles and reports                                                                    
in  the  media that  discussed  the  vulnerabilities in  the                                                                    
states  election  system, and he  thought the  problems were                                                                    
acknowledged by  the federal  government. He  commented that                                                                    
there used to  be a day when election  results were trusted.                                                                    
He  thought the  bill would  restore trust  in the  election                                                                    
Co-Chair Stedman  asked if Senator  Shower was  referring to                                                                    
elections at  the national level  and lack of  confidence in                                                                    
the last  presidential election, or  if he was  referring to                                                                    
state elections.                                                                                                                
Senator Shower stated  both.   He referenced automatic voter                                                                    
registration,  state agencies,  and  federal election  media                                                                    
coverage as factors in wanting to sponsor the legislation.                                                                      
Co-Chair  Stedman  thought it  would  be  nice to  have  the                                                                    
Division of  Elections and the  lieutenant governor  to come                                                                    
speak on the  matter of state elections.  He understood that                                                                    
there was  not a  problem with  state elections.  He thought                                                                    
care  was warranted  when discussing  the issue  unless +the                                                                    
lieutenant governor indicated there was a problem.                                                                              
Co-Chair  Bishop mentioned  there were  multiple individuals                                                                    
available for questions.                                                                                                        
9:14:38 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson asked if there  were any other states that had                                                                    
the same system proposed in the bill.                                                                                           
Senator  Shower   asked  what   system  Senator   Olson  was                                                                    
referencing, as  there were multiple things  proposed in the                                                                    
Senator Olson wondered  if the proposed systems  were in use                                                                    
in the other states.                                                                                                            
Senator Shower reported that not  every state did all of the                                                                    
measures proposed in  the bill, but there  was a  smattering                                                                    
across  the nation   as more  states moved  towards adopting                                                                    
the systems.  He discussed a  data breach, and  reports from                                                                    
the Division  of Elections  about data on  the dark  web. He                                                                    
cited that other  states such as California  had enacted the                                                                    
ballot chain of custody, in  which voters could track online                                                                    
and absentee ballots.                                                                                                           
Senator Olson considered places  where there was no tracking                                                                    
capability, such  as in  rural Alaska.  He asked  about what                                                                    
kind of  inhibitions might  make it  more difficult  to vote                                                                    
for elders and people without internet access.                                                                                  
Senator Shower stated that the  lieutenant governor had many                                                                    
discussions  about the  issue raised  by  Senator Olson.  He                                                                    
noted  there  was a  bill  provision  that allowed  mail-out                                                                    
balloting  in  locations  with  less  than  750  people.  He                                                                    
mentioned  ballot  harvesting.  He  thought  the  lieutenant                                                                    
governor had  been clear  that many of  the villages  he had                                                                    
communicated with did not trust  the postal service and were                                                                    
concerned about  the ability to  vote. He thought  the state                                                                    
had flexibility in the options for rural places to vote.                                                                        
9:17:54 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski asked the  sponsor to explain the open-                                                                    
source software concept and whether  there were other states                                                                    
that used the method.                                                                                                           
Senator Shower  explained that  the machines  currently used                                                                    
in the state used  proprietary software. With an open-source                                                                    
method,  everything  would  be   available  to  see  without                                                                    
proprietary  information.   He  discussed  "off   the  self"                                                                    
hardware,  such  as  printers   and  scanners  used  in  the                                                                    
election  system.  He  noted that  there  were  three  major                                                                    
companies that had voting  machines and mentioned conspiracy                                                                    
theories about Dominion  machines. The goal of  the bill was                                                                    
to  get  to a  point  where  all  information was  open  and                                                                    
transparent, and  to provide people  with more trust  in the                                                                    
election system.                                                                                                                
9:19:57 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator   Wielechowski  asked   why  there   needed  to   be                                                                    
algorithms in election software.                                                                                                
Senator Shower  explained that  each tabulating  machine had                                                                    
its  own   software,  which   determined  how   the  machine                                                                    
communicated, tabulated, and  collected information. He used                                                                    
the  analogy  of  a  plane   to  describe  software  running                                                                    
operations. He  thought there had been  allegations that the                                                                    
voting  tabulation   machines  had   been  hacked   and  the                                                                    
information had been connected to  the internet. He asserted                                                                    
that any  machine connected to the  internet was vulnerable.                                                                    
He  mentioned  that  some  of the  provisions  in  the  bill                                                                    
related  to open-source  software,  and  machines without  a                                                                    
connection to the internet.                                                                                                     
Senator Shower  mentioned a documentary named  "Kill Chain,                                                                     
which showed  individuals real-time hacking  voting machines                                                                    
through a Wi-Fi  connection. He asserted it  was possible to                                                                    
hack voting machines. He emphasized  that the bill sought to                                                                    
protect data  and nullify conspiracy theories.  He discussed                                                                    
a forensic check of machines before and after elections.                                                                        
Senator Shower  continued to address  Senator Wielechowski's                                                                    
question.  He  suggested  that many  things  were  left  for                                                                    
regulation as per  each administration. One of  the goals in                                                                    
the bill  was to codify  elements of the election  reform in                                                                    
order to leave nothing to chance.                                                                                               
9:23:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wilson  had a  question  for  the director  of  the                                                                    
Division of  Elections. He recalled  that on July  13, 2020,                                                                    
the  oversight   and  review  unit  of   the  Department  of                                                                    
Administration (DOA)  had done  a report  on the  review and                                                                    
effectiveness of  security of the Division  of Elections. He                                                                    
asked if the director was familiar with the report.                                                                             
GAIL   FENUMIAI,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF   ELECTIONS  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  was  familiar  with providing  the  agency                                                                    
with information for the report.                                                                                                
Senator Wilson  asked if  Ms. Fenumiai if  she had  seen the                                                                    
recommendations in the report.                                                                                                  
Ms. Fenumiai  was not certain  she had seen the  most recent                                                                    
version  of the  report and  recommendations, and  commented                                                                    
that the report had  been through many different iterations.                                                                    
She  offered to  examine  the  report and  get  back to  the                                                                    
Senator Wilson asked if SB  39 addressed any recommendations                                                                    
or findings that Ms. Fenumiai had seen in the report.                                                                           
Ms. Fenumiai  relayed that she  needed to examine  the final                                                                    
report to  determine if any  of the items were  addressed in                                                                    
the bill.                                                                                                                       
Senator  Wilson relayed  that the  report was  embargoed and                                                                    
much  of  it  was  redacted.  He  thought  a  non-disclosure                                                                    
agreement (NDA)  was required to access  the report, because                                                                    
it listed many of the  states  vulnerabilities. He wanted to                                                                    
verify  that the  bill remedied  problems identified  in the                                                                    
9:26:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski asked if  Ms. Fenumiai had any evidence                                                                    
indicating that any  of the states  elections  had ever been                                                                    
Ms. Fenumiai  had not seen  evidence that hacking of  any of                                                                    
the states  elections had occurred.  She detailed that there                                                                    
were  hand recounts  for the  2020 election,  which had  not                                                                    
changed the  outcome of the  election. She thought  the most                                                                    
prevalent  was  a  hand  recount  of  the  statewide  ballot                                                                    
measure 2, and  there was no evidence that  any results were                                                                    
changed or that results were not reported accurately.                                                                           
Senator  Wielechowski  asked  if Ms.  Fenumiai  thought  the                                                                    
state  could  benefit from  having  a  more secure  election                                                                    
system, such as the use  of open-source software as proposed                                                                    
in the bill.                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Fenumiai did  not have  sufficient  knowledge of  open-                                                                    
source software in order to  comment. She thought there were                                                                    
many factors to  take into consideration when  putting out a                                                                    
request for  proposal (RFP) for  a ballot  tabulation system                                                                    
other   than   being    open-sourced.   There   were   other                                                                    
requirements  to  meet  in  order   to  handle  the  states                                                                     
processes.   She  believed   there  was   always  room   for                                                                    
improvement of security measures,  and that the division was                                                                    
looking for  and amenable  to any  measures to  provide more                                                                    
secure elections.                                                                                                               
Senator Wielechowski thought there had  been a great deal of                                                                    
concern in  the media  and press  regarding the  security of                                                                    
the  Dominion election  system, which  he thought  the state                                                                    
used. He  asked if  Ms. Fenumiai had  any concerns  with the                                                                    
system. He  asked if  she believed the  system was  safe and                                                                    
not subject to hacking or changing of results.                                                                                  
Ms.  Fenumiai   had  not  seen  evidence   of  what  Senator                                                                    
Wielechowski  described.  She  continued that  the  division                                                                    
performed  thorough  logic  and   accuracy  testing  of  the                                                                    
systems  and  functionality  tests  before  and  after  each                                                                    
election. She  noted that the  division had  multiple levels                                                                    
of  checks and  balances in  place, and  the state  had been                                                                    
using  equipment from  Dominion (or  its predecessor)  since                                                                    
1998.  She  detailed  that the  division  did  a  hand-count                                                                    
verification of a randomly drawn  precinct that equated to 5                                                                    
percent of  votes cast  in a district  that used  a scanner,                                                                    
and there had never been an  issue with the hand counts. She                                                                    
had a high level of confidence  in the system and the people                                                                    
that managed  the system  at the  Division of  Elections, as                                                                    
well as in the election workers.                                                                                                
9:29:17 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Shower referenced  the DOA report and  noted that it                                                                    
had been  offered to  him with the  condition of  signing an                                                                    
NDA.  Legal counsel  had informed  that the  agreement would                                                                    
put him at  risk if he spoke about information  in the wrong                                                                    
place,  so  he   had  not  signed  the  NDA.   He  found  it                                                                    
problematic that  the report was specifically  generated for                                                                    
public  consumption and  recounted that  he had  learned the                                                                    
information  from   the  former  commissioner  of   DOA.  He                                                                    
referenced three and a half  pages and 18 recommendations in                                                                    
the report, much of which had been redacted.                                                                                    
Senator Shower  continued that he  did now know if  the bill                                                                    
addressed  some  or all  of  the  issues referenced  in  the                                                                    
report, although  he had been  informed that he  was working                                                                    
on issues that  had been identified. He noted  that the lack                                                                    
of access to  the report had been a point  of contention. He                                                                    
stated that the  audit level that was done by  the state was                                                                    
done on a  small percentage of a district to  check the vote                                                                    
tabulation. He pointed  out that the audit  did not validate                                                                    
the eligibility of voters. He  reiterated that the state did                                                                    
not  cross check  information and  reminded  that there  was                                                                    
voter data  floating  around  that could be  used for anyone                                                                    
to vote.                                                                                                                        
Senator Shower  continued his remarks. He  asserted that one                                                                    
of  the provisions  in  the bill  was an  audit  that did  a                                                                    
slightly deeper  dive. He  described it  as a  best practice                                                                    
from the  federal government,  from the  Election Assistance                                                                    
Commission. He  qualified that  he was  not saying  that the                                                                    
division was not  working hard or was  not executing current                                                                    
policy. He  asserted that  his bill  attempted to  point out                                                                    
areas  of  vulnerabilities and  things  that  could be  done                                                                    
better.  He  emphasized  that  he was  not  using  the  word                                                                    
Co-Chair Bishop  thought everyone had agreed  that there was                                                                    
no fraud in the Alaska state elections in 2020.                                                                                 
Senator  Shower stated  that there  had been  allegations of                                                                    
fraud  and that  he had  turned all  the information  he had                                                                    
received from  private citizens over to  law enforcement. He                                                                    
had not received information in  return. He had been told by                                                                    
law enforcement  by that there  were maybe a dozen  cases of                                                                    
smaller fraud. He thought the fraud was minimal.                                                                                
9:32:57 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Shower  asserted  that  there  had  been  malicious                                                                    
activity, and  thought it was important  to acknowledge that                                                                    
the  state  had been  hacked.  He  mentioned the  state  not                                                                    
checking signature verification. He  thought the state could                                                                    
not  legitimately claim  that  all  the vulnerabilities  had                                                                    
been addressed, or that the  election was secure. He thought                                                                    
the   bill   was  designed   to   be   able  to   say   that                                                                    
vulnerabilities  were addressed  and  there  was a  forensic                                                                    
Senator  Olson asked  if  Ms. Fenumiai  if  the Division  of                                                                    
Elections was in favor of the bill.                                                                                             
Ms.  Fenumiai  stated  that  the  division  would  take  the                                                                    
direction of  the legislature.  She thought  the bill  was a                                                                    
 pretty major overhaul  of the  current election process and                                                                    
9:35:30 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Wilson  understood that  SB 39  had been  amended to                                                                    
add a  piece of  legislation from the  lieutenant governors                                                                     
office.  He asked  if Ms.  Fenumiai  was in  support of  the                                                                    
Co-Chair  Bishop   asked  Senator   Wilson  to   remind  the                                                                    
committee what section of the bill he was referencing.                                                                          
Senator  Wilson did  not have  the information  at hand.  He                                                                    
understood that  new version  of the  bill was  a compromise                                                                    
from other pieces of legislation.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Bishop asked  if Senator Wilson could  wait for the                                                                    
sectional analysis to address the bill section in question.                                                                     
Senator Wilson agreed.                                                                                                          
Senator   Wielechowski  referenced   his  question   to  Ms.                                                                    
Fenumiai  as to  whether the  election had  been hacked,  to                                                                    
which  she  answered   no.  He  mentioned  that  there  were                                                                    
hackers that had  stolen voter information. He  asked if the                                                                    
state knew the identity of  the hackers and what happened to                                                                    
the  information  that  was   stolen  from  100,000  Alaskan                                                                    
Ms. Fenumiai acknowledged that there  had been data exposure                                                                    
in  which  someone  had  accessed  data  for  about  103,000                                                                    
Alaskan voters. She  did not know what happened  to the data                                                                    
and  had seen  no  instances within  the voter  registration                                                                    
system that  led the division to  believe anything malicious                                                                    
had been done with the  information. She reiterated that the                                                                    
division  had not  seen how  the information  was taken  and                                                                    
maliciously  used. There  had been  no information  imported                                                                    
back  into the  system, and  the  loophole in  the code  was                                                                    
fixed immediately.  She believed  there was a  federal press                                                                    
release about who the actors were,  but she did not have the                                                                    
information at hand.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Bishop asked  if Ms.  Fenumiai  could forward  the                                                                    
information to the committee if it was public information.                                                                      
Ms. Fenumiai agreed.                                                                                                            
Senator  Wielechowski asked  if Ms.  Fenumiai knew  if there                                                                    
was  an  attempt  to  impact the  results  of  the  election                                                                    
through the hacking being discussed or via other hackings.                                                                      
Ms. Fenumiai stated  that based on the  information that was                                                                    
provided by the federal government,  there was no proof that                                                                    
there was  any type  of influence on  the election  based on                                                                    
the  involvement  of any  foreign  actors.  She thought  the                                                                    
federal government had put out a report in March 2022.                                                                          
9:39:13 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Wilson asked  if there  had been  data hacked  from                                                                    
another department that could  impact voter registration. He                                                                    
asked if  there could  be future  vulnerabilities in  a data                                                                    
dump. He referenced testimony on the subject.                                                                                   
Ms.  Fenumiai  did  not have  first-had  knowledge  of  what                                                                    
Senator Wilson  was referencing.  She was  not aware  of the                                                                    
issue as Senator Wilson described.                                                                                              
Senator Wilson  relayed that he  had gone to  the lieutenant                                                                    
governors    office  regarding   the   concern,  which   was                                                                    
verified. He  thought the  lieutenant governors   office had                                                                    
contacted Ms. Fenumiai regarding the matter.                                                                                    
Ms.  Fenumiai stated  she had  spoken to  an agency  and had                                                                    
been  informed that  no such  activity had  taken place  and                                                                    
there  was  nothing  that the  division  should  be  alarmed                                                                    
Senator  Shower  emphasized  that  he  was  not  making  any                                                                    
accusations toward the Division  of Elections. He noted that                                                                    
the  bill contained  a cyber  section of  tools. He  alleged                                                                    
that  the division  director had  indicated that  previously                                                                    
hacked  information could  be used.  He  continued that  the                                                                    
state did  not know if  the information  had been used  in a                                                                    
manner  to obtain  ballots. He  emphasized  that there  were                                                                    
many vulnerabilities that  the bill could fix.  He stated he                                                                    
could reference  dozens of articles and  press releases from                                                                    
2016 to 2020  indicating how vulnerable the  system was, and                                                                    
how influenced we were by  foreign operatives such as Russia                                                                    
or China.                                                                                                                       
Co-Chair Bishop stated that it  was not known who had hacked                                                                    
the data.  He mentioned a  14-year old that had  hacked into                                                                    
the Pentagon.                                                                                                                   
9:42:45 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair   Bishop   considered  the   open-source   software                                                                    
provision.   He  pondered   making  algorithms   public.  He                                                                    
acknowledged  his  lack  of   expertise  in  technology.  He                                                                    
thought it  seemed like  open-source information  public; it                                                                    
was similar to having a key to Fort Knox.                                                                                       
Senator Shower acknowledged he was  not an expert. He used a                                                                    
military facility analogy to  describe technology that could                                                                    
not  be hacked  because it  was  air-gapped,   which had  no                                                                    
connection or  port to log  in to.  He asserted that  it was                                                                    
possible to make voting machines  un-hackable. He offered to                                                                    
bring  expert testimony  to provide  further information  on                                                                    
open source. He described  the open-source concept as having                                                                    
the  codes,  the  algorithms,  and  the  software  would  be                                                                    
available  for inspection  while the  tested and  controlled                                                                    
the  voting  machines.  He  mentioned  de-identifying  voter                                                                    
Co-Chair Bishop  had more questions  about the  integrity of                                                                    
open-source  software  and  security. He  discussed  further                                                                    
examination of the topic at a later time.                                                                                       
Senator  Shower  relayed that  he  had  asked his  staff  to                                                                    
summarize the lengthy Sectional Analysis at a high level.                                                                       
9:47:00 AM                                                                                                                    
SCOTT OGAN, STAFF  FOR SENATOR SHOWER, spoke  to a Sectional                                                                    
Analysis (copy on file). He  detailed that Section 1 removed                                                                    
language and  allowed voters to  register to vote  within 30                                                                    
days of an  election. Section 2 pertained  to same-day voter                                                                    
registration, allowed an electronic  image of a signature to                                                                    
be  taken  and used,  and  required  an affidavit  verifying                                                                    
residency under  the penalty of  perjury. He noted  that the                                                                    
penalty of  perjury was added into  the Committee Substitute                                                                    
in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Section 3 pertained to a                                                                    
designated language preference for ballots.                                                                                     
Mr.  Ogan continued  that Section  4 stipulated  a qualified                                                                    
voter registering  on the  day of  or within  30 days  of an                                                                    
election  may  vote  only  an  absentee  in-person,  special                                                                    
needs, or questioned ballot.  Qualified voters that register                                                                    
to vote  within 30 days of  an election shall not  vote on a                                                                    
regular ballot.  Section 5 related to  the voter certificate                                                                    
envelope and giving voters a  choice to register partisan or                                                                    
undeclared or as affiliated. The Senate Judiciary Committee                                                                     
had  deleted,  "a  voter's  choice to  register  as  a  non-                                                                    
partisan, as  undeclared, or as affiliated  with a political                                                                    
party or political group.                                                                                                       
Mr. Ogan  explained that Section  6 stipulated a  person who                                                                    
has  re-registered under  this subsection  may vote  only an                                                                    
absentee  in-person,  special  needs, or  questioned  ballot                                                                    
until the next  election that occurs at least  30 days after                                                                    
the date of re-registration. Section  7 would require that a                                                                    
person  who has  moved to  a new  precinct to  vote only  an                                                                    
absentee  in-person, special,  needs, or  questioned ballot.                                                                    
He explained that Section 8  stipulated a person for whom no                                                                    
evidence of registration in the  precinct could be found may                                                                    
only  vote   an  absentee   in-person,  special   needs,  or                                                                    
questioned ballot.                                                                                                              
Mr.  Ogan continued  to address  the Sectional  Analysis and                                                                    
explained  that  Sections  9 through  13  were  about  voter                                                                    
rolls.  The   Senate  Judiciary   Committee  CS   made  some                                                                    
additional database  suggestions in Section 12.  The CS also                                                                    
changed language in Section 10  to include contracting those                                                                    
that  did not  live in  the state.  Section 14  pertained to                                                                    
poll  watchers,  which had  to  be  citizens of  the  United                                                                    
States.  He mentioned  proof  showing  appointment by  party                                                                    
committee,   party  district   committee,  organization   or                                                                    
organized group,  or candidate  the watcher  represents. The                                                                    
Senate Judiciary  CS renamed ballot proposition  in place of                                                                    
an initiative  or referendum. He  explained that  Section 15                                                                    
added  a new  paragraph that  required all  official ballots                                                                    
contain a watermark, seal, or other security identifier.                                                                        
Co-Chair  Bishop asked  Mr. Ogan  for further  discussion on                                                                    
Section  15  after  he was  done  presenting  the  Sectional                                                                    
Mr. Ogan  agreed. He  added that the  Judiciary CS  added an                                                                    
election official's  signature as  an identifier  to Section                                                                    
9:50:31 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Bishop referenced an  earlier conversation with the                                                                    
sponsor  regarding duplicate  absentee  ballots. He  thought                                                                    
the section  might need  more work  and thought  the sponsor                                                                    
had agreed.                                                                                                                     
Senator Shower asked for more detail.                                                                                           
Co-Chair Bishop  referenced a recent occurrence  of a United                                                                    
States Mail trailer destroyed by  fire. He pondered that the                                                                    
division did not have enough  watermarked ballots to replace                                                                    
any that were destroyed.                                                                                                        
Senator Shower discussed the  Division of Elections carrying                                                                    
out work at  the direction of the legislature,  as stated by                                                                    
Ms.  Fenumiai.  He  stated  that  the  bill  tried  to  give                                                                    
guidance and  direction. He mentioned an  electronic ballot,                                                                    
watermark  seals  and  other  identifiers,  or  an  election                                                                    
officials  signature.  He believed  the bill  created enough                                                                    
leeway  to create  a workable  system. He  mentioned ballots                                                                    
from Nagiak  and verifiable ballot tracking.  He mentioned a                                                                    
Quick  Response (QR)  code, and  other ways  to authenticate                                                                    
and identify ballots.  He relayed that the QR  code had been                                                                    
taken out of the bill for being contentious.                                                                                    
Mr. Ogan relayed that there  had been stories over the years                                                                    
of  various people  finding ballots.  He  thought making  it                                                                    
difficult  to  counterfeit   ballots  would  provide  public                                                                    
confidence.  He  discussed  managing public  perception.  He                                                                    
noted that the  Division of Elections was  not political but                                                                    
had a responsibility to provide confidence.                                                                                     
9:55:45 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Ogan  continued to address  the Sectional  Analysis, and                                                                    
informed that Section  16 was all about  ballot security and                                                                    
incorporated  new chain  of custody  protocols. The  section                                                                    
also addressed a toll-free election  offense hotline. The CS                                                                    
stipulated  that a  ballot chain  of  custody document  must                                                                    
accompany a ballot  or group of ballots. Section  17 added a                                                                    
new  subsection to  provide language  assistance at  polling                                                                    
places. The  CS stipulated  that the director  shall provide                                                                    
each election  board with  notices about  where to  find the                                                                    
election office hotline.                                                                                                        
Mr. Ogan provided  that Section 18, Section  19, and Section                                                                    
20  pertained to  questioned ballot  procedures. Section  21                                                                    
pertained to  risk-limiting audits. Section 22  provided for                                                                    
an online  system tracking absentee ballots,  and Section 23                                                                    
required a return envelope to  be postage-paid. The CS added                                                                    
that  the  envelope  may  not  identify  the  voters   party                                                                    
Mr.  Ogan  relayed  that Section  24  through  28  concerned                                                                    
absentee  and early  voting stations.  The bill  proposed to                                                                    
change absentee voting stations to early voting stations.                                                                       
Senator Shower noted that change  to the voting stations was                                                                    
a negotiated  position from working  with other  members. He                                                                    
thought the  Division of Elections director  would say there                                                                    
was  a  difference between  how  early  voting and  absentee                                                                    
voting worked.  He stated he  was not opposed to  the change                                                                    
although did not think it  was required. He thought absentee                                                                    
voting was used more in the  Bush, and early voting was used                                                                    
primarily  on the  road  system. He  did  not feel  strongly                                                                    
about the change.                                                                                                               
Mr. Ogan  addressed Section 29,  which allowed  officials to                                                                    
verify if  a voters  address  was correct. Section  30 dealt                                                                    
with voter eligibility,  and if it could  not be immediately                                                                    
verified, required  that the voter cast  an absentee ballot.                                                                    
He  noted that  there was  a star  next to  items listed  as                                                                    
potential amendments.  He continued that Section  31 allowed                                                                    
for absentee voting by mail  only and limited who could send                                                                    
the  ballot.  He  referenced  reports  of  individuals  that                                                                    
thought they  got multiple ballots from  unknown sources and                                                                    
that he suspected there were multiple applications.                                                                             
10:00:00 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Bishop asked  about the  reference to  individuals                                                                    
receiving several ballots. He  wondered if people could have                                                                    
been confused  by a  sample ballot sent  by the  Division of                                                                    
Senator Shower stated that under  testimony, many people had                                                                    
reported having  multiple ballots,  and after  discussion it                                                                    
seemed  like what  they thought  were  ballots were  instead                                                                    
applications.  He  discussed   poll  workers  that  reported                                                                    
receiving multiple ballots. He  mentioned people from Hoonah                                                                    
testifying  to  seeing  a person  with  a  briefcase  asking                                                                    
people  if  they  wanted  a ballot,  which  he  thought  was                                                                    
illegal.  He   had  turned  the  information   over  to  law                                                                    
enforcement.  He  discussed  multiple applications  sent  by                                                                    
different parties,  which he thought continued  after people                                                                    
left the state.  He wanted the state  to educate individuals                                                                    
about un-registering  at the  time they  left the  state. He                                                                    
mentioned a  former legislator  that received  ballots after                                                                    
leaving the  state. He thought multiple  ballot applications                                                                    
were confusing to people.                                                                                                       
10:02:13 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Ogan continued  to address  the Sectional  Analysis. He                                                                    
explained that  Section 32 renamed absentee  voting stations                                                                    
as  "early voting"  stations, Section  33 required  absentee                                                                    
ballot  applications  to permit  the  person  to declare  an                                                                    
official  affiliation (if  any). Section  34 eliminated  the                                                                    
witness  requirement for  absentee ballots,  which would  be                                                                    
replaced with signature verification.  Section 35 required a                                                                    
U.S.  Postal Service  barcode for  a  ballot received  after                                                                    
election day,  and Section 36  created a  permanent absentee                                                                    
provision that allowed a person  to receive absentee ballots                                                                    
in perpetuity. He detailed that  the Senate Judiciary CS had                                                                    
amended the provision  to allow absentee voting  for a four-                                                                    
year   period.  Section   37  allowed   further  review   of                                                                    
certificates and  envelopes. He explained that  the original                                                                    
bill allowed  for early counting of  absentee ballots, which                                                                    
was amended  out of  the bill due  to security  concerns. He                                                                    
clarified  that  individuals  would still  be  permitted  to                                                                    
handle the envelopes.                                                                                                           
Mr.  Ogan  addressed  Section 38,  pertaining  to  signature                                                                    
verification and  proposed a major  change that  dropped the                                                                    
second  signature.  Section  39  allowed  that  an  absentee                                                                    
ballot may be rejected if  it was not signed, postmarked, or                                                                    
the ballot  is delivered by  mail after election day  and is                                                                    
not postmarked on or before election  day or does not have a                                                                    
U.S. Postal  Service tracking barcode that  verifies mailing                                                                    
on or  before election day.  An absentee ballot may  also be                                                                    
rejected  if  the  signature  on   the  certificate  is  not                                                                    
consistent with  the signature  in the  voter's registration                                                                    
record. This  section also removes  the basis  for rejecting                                                                    
an  absentee ballot  due  to  a lack  of  a  witness or  the                                                                    
attesting  official's signature.  He  thought  it should  be                                                                    
noted that  the Senate Judiciary Committee  had approved the                                                                    
no-second-signature  policy  because  it would  be  replaced                                                                    
with signature verification technology.                                                                                         
Mr.  Ogan   continued  that  Section   40  dealt   with  the                                                                    
transition  for signature  verification. Section  41 allowed                                                                    
properly   cured  ballots   to   be   counted.  Section   42                                                                    
established  an online  ballot  tracking  system, and  there                                                                    
were  some private  sector apps  that did  so. Additionally,                                                                    
Section  42 also  established secure  procedures for  voters                                                                    
whose ballots  were rejected due  to defects. He  noted that                                                                    
the Senate  Judiciary CS gave express  authorization for the                                                                    
division to contract for the services.                                                                                          
10:06:37 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Wilson asked about  signature verification. He asked                                                                    
Mr.  Ogan  to  discuss   the  process  and  address  digital                                                                    
Mr. Ogan deferred to Ms. Fenumiai.                                                                                              
Senator  Wilson repeated  his question  about how  signature                                                                    
verification would work for  digital signatures. He wondered                                                                    
if signatures would be collected in a database.                                                                                 
Ms. Fenumiai stated that the  procedure would be new for the                                                                    
division,  which was  currently  capturing voter  signatures                                                                    
digitally in the registration  database. She envisioned that                                                                    
the  process  would  look  similar   to  that  used  by  the                                                                    
Municipality  of  Anchorage  elections.  The  signature  was                                                                    
clipped from the  envelope as it went  through the recording                                                                    
machine, and the  batch would perhaps be sent  to the review                                                                    
board  to   be  reviewed  against  stored   signatures.  She                                                                    
qualified that she was speaking off the cuff.                                                                                   
Senator  Wilson asked  what would  happen  in an  individual                                                                    
used a different variation of their own signature.                                                                              
Ms. Fenumiai  thought that a  notification would be  sent to                                                                    
the voter asking the individual to supply a new signature.                                                                      
Co-Chair Bishop handed the gavel to Co-Chair Stedman.                                                                           
10:09:29 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Ogan continued  to give  a high-level  overview of  the                                                                    
Sectional  Analysis. He  shared that  Section 40  had to  do                                                                    
with the  signature verification transition, and  Section 41                                                                    
allowed  properly cured  ballots to  be counted.  Section 42                                                                    
established an online ballot tracking  system that the voter                                                                    
may cure.                                                                                                                       
Co-Chair Stedman handed the gavel to Co-Chair Bishop.                                                                           
Mr. Ogan wanted to address  a previous question from Senator                                                                    
Wilson. He stated  that the CS had amended the  bill to give                                                                    
the division  the ability to  procure a  private contractor.                                                                    
He continued  that Section 43  was about a change  of voting                                                                    
venue and  granted grounds for an  election contest. Section                                                                    
44  allowed  the  division  to  do  all-mail  elections  for                                                                    
certain  smaller communities.  The  previous committee's  CS                                                                    
reduced  the  size  of  the communities  to  less  than  750                                                                    
Mr. Ogan continued that Section  45 required the division to                                                                    
adopt  a forensic  examination  of  each precinct  tabulator                                                                    
before  and  after  each election  and  specified  that  the                                                                    
tabulators  may not  be connected  to  internet or  cellular                                                                    
network  24 hours  before the  polls  or 14  days after  the                                                                    
polls  were  closed. The  Senate  Judiciary  CS allowed  for                                                                    
legislative  council-appointed  subject matter  expert  full                                                                    
access to all election data machines and systems.                                                                               
Co-Chair Bishop asked if the  division had the capability to                                                                    
conduct a forensic audit.                                                                                                       
Ms.  Fenumiai stated  that  the division  did  not have  the                                                                    
capability to  conduct a  forensic audit  and would  need to                                                                    
get  a  succinct  definition  of   what  was  included.  She                                                                    
considered   forensic audit   was  an  open-ended term.  She                                                                    
stated that the division was not familiar with the process.                                                                     
10:12:32 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Shower  referenced subsection (f) of  Section 45 and                                                                    
acknowledged that  there were  many new  provisions proposed                                                                    
in the  bill. He noted  that the bill directed  the division                                                                    
to hire a technical subject  matter expert, which would be a                                                                    
part of the cost on the fiscal note.                                                                                            
Mr.  Ogan  continued  to  address  the  Sectional  Analysis.                                                                    
Section  46  stipulated that  the  division  could only  use                                                                    
open-source  software technology.  He  commented that  open-                                                                    
source  technology  would make  a  forensic  audit easy.  He                                                                    
noted  that   the  Senate   Judiciary  Committee   had  made                                                                    
conforming changes  that the election machines  must conform                                                                    
with  voluntary  voting  guidelines  and would  have  to  be                                                                    
federally certified. Section 47  also related to open-source                                                                    
software. Section  48 would ensure that  postage paid return                                                                    
envelopes were  not considered an  incentive to  vote, which                                                                    
was  a crime.  He thought  a free  mobile phone  application                                                                    
should be offered if the ballot tracking utilized an app.                                                                       
Mr. Ogan detailed that Sections 49,  51, 52, and 53 were all                                                                    
proposed  to  change  the   criminal  code  associated  with                                                                    
election violations.   He addressed Section  50, which dealt                                                                    
with  ballot  harvesting.  The   bill  did  not  ban  ballot                                                                    
harvesting, but  the proposed to disallow  people from being                                                                    
hired for the task. Section 55 dealt with cyber-security.                                                                       
10:15:31 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Wielechowski  had seen  many times  that individuals                                                                    
with disabilities had needed  assistance with ballot pick-up                                                                    
and delivery.  He asked if  a candidate or  campaign staffer                                                                    
could assist  an individual with disabilities  with a ballot                                                                    
pick-up and delivery under the proposed bill.                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Bishop  asked  to  include  the  topic  of  unpaid                                                                    
volunteers to Senator Wielechowski's question.                                                                                  
Senator  Shower stated  that the  goal  of the  bill was  to                                                                    
primarily stop from bringing people  to the state and paying                                                                    
them to  canvas neighborhoods  and do ballot  harvesting. He                                                                    
mentioned a former staffer that had  been part of a group of                                                                    
over  200  people that  were  paid  and trained  to  collect                                                                    
ballots  during   the  governor's   race.  He   stated  that                                                                    
initially the  bill made ballot harvesting  illegal, but the                                                                    
provision  was amended.  He noted  that one  amendment would                                                                    
exclude  mail  carriers.  He thought  individuals  were  not                                                                    
affected unless being paid to collect ballots.                                                                                  
Senator Wielechowski  asked about the philosophy  behind the                                                                    
provision if there were other  security measures in place to                                                                    
ensure ballot integrity.  He asked what harm  was being done                                                                    
to society for people to go collect ballots.                                                                                    
Mr. Ogan  thought the potential  abuse of  ballot harvesting                                                                    
was  that individuals  were targeted.  He  asked what  would                                                                    
prevent  a  person  with nefarious  intent  from  harvesting                                                                    
ballots and  then failing  to mail  them. He  thought ballot                                                                    
harvesting  was a  contentious issue.  He thought  there was                                                                    
recent case  law on  the subject. He  thought some  case law                                                                    
found it  was not a  violation of First Amendment  rights to                                                                    
ban ballot  harvesting, while  other jurisdictions  found it                                                                    
was. He  summarized that the  bill strove to make  it harder                                                                    
to  cheat and  easier  to vote,  and  that included  putting                                                                    
sidebars on ballot harvesting.                                                                                                  
10:19:33 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Wielechowski thought  political parties  collecting                                                                    
their  ballots had  the  effect of  getting  more people  to                                                                    
vote.  He commented  that it  would  be a  serious crime  if                                                                    
people were collecting ballots to  shred, and thought it was                                                                    
already addressed in the bill.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Bishop thought  there  was ballot  tracking so  it                                                                    
would be known if the ballots were shredded.                                                                                    
Mr.  Ogan   thought  the  proposed  ballot   tracking  would                                                                    
mitigate much of  the concern, which was one  of the reasons                                                                    
he  was  more  comfortable allowing  ballot  harvesting.  He                                                                    
personally wanted  to see ballot harvesting  banned, but the                                                                    
bill sponsor wanted to be reasonable.                                                                                           
Senator Shower  understood Senator Wielechowski's  point and                                                                    
thought  if the  bill  was enacted  the  provision could  be                                                                    
stripped away.  He thought there had  never been indictments                                                                    
or  law enforcement  activity around  ballot harvesting.  He                                                                    
added that  in consultation  with other members  that wanted                                                                    
to  ban  ballot  harvesting,  the current  provision  was  a                                                                    
compromise. He  cited that there  were exemptions,  which he                                                                    
thought included volunteers.                                                                                                    
Mr.  Ogan  continued  to  address  the  Sectional  Analysis.                                                                    
Section  56  increased  the  minimum  compensation  for  all                                                                    
election  workers to  at least  $15.00 an  hour. Section  57                                                                    
pertained  to Legislative  Council  power  to contract  with                                                                    
technical  subject  matter  experts   to  do  full  forensic                                                                    
audits. He  noted that  there had  some debate  over whether                                                                    
Legislative  Council or  the  Legislative  Budget and  Audit                                                                    
Committee was the right body  for the audit, and the sponsor                                                                    
had chosen Legislative Council because  it had the authority                                                                    
to litigate against the administration if necessary.                                                                            
Senator  Shower wanted  to  comment that  there  had been  a                                                                    
healthy  debate  on the  subject.  It  was agreed  that  the                                                                    
legislature needed to have the  authority to fund and direct                                                                    
some type of  audit if there were  allegations. He mentioned                                                                    
that he had been asking  for the report mentioned by Senator                                                                    
Wilson for over a year.  He emphasized that it was important                                                                    
to have the authority.                                                                                                          
10:24:30 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Ogan  continued  to  address  the  Sectional  Analysis.                                                                    
Section  58 authorized  the  municipal clerk  to  act as  an                                                                    
absentee  voting  official  at   an  early  voting  station.                                                                    
Section  59  allowed  for  late  registration  in  municipal                                                                    
elections. Section  60 repealed provisions  requiring notice                                                                    
of  rejected  absentee  ballots to  be  provided  to  voters                                                                    
within 10  days of certification  of a primary  election and                                                                    
30  days  of  certification  of  a  general  election.  This                                                                    
section   also   repeals    a   provision   requiring   that                                                                    
registration for  municipal elections be made  30 days prior                                                                    
to  an  election.  He  commented   that  Section  60  was  a                                                                    
compromise that was  not in the original  bill. He continued                                                                    
that Section 61 through 65 were all effective dates.                                                                            
Senator  Wielechowski had  seen a  couple of  scenarios that                                                                    
had occurred many  times. He had brought the  matter up with                                                                    
the bill  sponsor. He  described people who  had a  house in                                                                    
his  district  yet  were  registered   to  vote  in  another                                                                    
district. He asked about the law on the matter.                                                                                 
Ms. Fenumiai  stated that the voters   residence address was                                                                    
what was  given to  the division  on the  voter registration                                                                    
application until  the person  told the  division otherwise.                                                                    
She stated  that people should change  the residence address                                                                    
with  the division  when they  moved. She  knew some  people                                                                    
owned multiple homes.  She noted that the  Department of Law                                                                    
was available for comment.                                                                                                      
Senator  Wielechowski was  curious about  the Department  of                                                                    
Law's  perspective on  the matter.  He asked  if individuals                                                                    
were committing  a crime by  living in one district  and was                                                                    
registered to vote in another.                                                                                                  
10:27:38 AM                                                                                                                   
THOMAS FLYNN, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY  GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF LAW                                                                    
(via teleconference),  thought Ms.  Fenumiai had  stated the                                                                    
matter  accurately  in saying  that  a  voters  address  for                                                                    
voter  registration was  presumed accurate  until the  voter                                                                    
said  otherwise in  writing. He  mentioned  that there  were                                                                    
several  ways  in which  updated  voter  addresses could  be                                                                    
captured,   such  as   on   the   Permanent  Fund   Dividend                                                                    
Senator Wielechowski asked if the action was a crime.                                                                           
Mr.  Flynn  answered  in  the negative.  There  was  also  a                                                                    
situation where  a voter's residence  address was  where the                                                                    
individual intended  to return  while they  were temporarily                                                                    
at another address.                                                                                                             
Senator Wielechowski  asked if  a crime  was committed  if a                                                                    
candidate  encouraged a  person  to vote  in  a district  in                                                                    
which they were registered to but did not live.                                                                                 
Mr. Flynn wanted to go  through the crimes in statute before                                                                    
answering the  question. He commented  that if a  person was                                                                    
intentionally directing a  person to vote in a  way that was                                                                    
not accurate, some statutes might come in to play.                                                                              
Senator Wielechowski  described a scenario where  people had                                                                    
moved out  of state but were  still voting. He asked  if the                                                                    
behavior was a crime and if the bill provided a remedy.                                                                         
Mr.  Flynn cited  a  section  of the  bill  that dealt  with                                                                    
maintenance notices sent  to people living out  of state. He                                                                    
mentioned  people with  the  intent to  return.  He did  not                                                                    
think there  was necessarily  a crime  but wanted  to review                                                                    
the statutes.                                                                                                                   
10:30:32 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Wielechowski asked  about  the  applicable law  and                                                                    
guessed there  were tens  of thousands  of people  that were                                                                    
registered  to vote  at an  address  at which  they did  not                                                                    
live. He  thought it  was an enormous  problem. He  asked if                                                                    
the division  thought it  was a problem  and whether  it was                                                                    
taking steps to fix the problem.                                                                                                
Ms.  Fenumiai  thought  that Senator  Wielechowski  posed  a                                                                    
legal question  to be  addressed by  the Department  of Law.                                                                    
She cited that the statutes were  clear about if a voter had                                                                    
an intent to  return, and the statute had been  on the books                                                                    
for a long time.                                                                                                                
Mr.  Flynn   directed  attention   to  AS   15.05.020  which                                                                    
pertained  to the  rules  of determining  a  residence of  a                                                                    
Senator  Wielechowski thought  there  had  been concerns  in                                                                    
recent elections  over whether  people had sent  an absentee                                                                    
ballot and  had then  voted in person.  He asked  about what                                                                    
would happen and which ballot would be counted.                                                                                 
Ms.   Fenumiai  stated   that  in   the  situation   Senator                                                                    
Wielechowski   described,  the   division  would   have  the                                                                    
absentee  ballot  in possession  and  the  outcome would  be                                                                    
dependent  upon when  the  individual went  to  vote at  the                                                                    
polls. If the  division had logged the  voters  ballot prior                                                                    
to  the  date  the  precinct  registers  were  printed,  the                                                                    
voters   record  would  say  already  voted.   If  a  person                                                                    
returned  a  by-mail  ballot  that   was  logged  after  the                                                                    
precinct  registers  were  printed,  the  divisions   system                                                                    
could not  capture the ballot  put into the ballot  box. She                                                                    
continued  that when  voter history  was done,  the division                                                                    
ran duplicate ballot  checks and would find  that the person                                                                    
had voted a by-mail ballot and it would not be counted.                                                                         
10:34:26 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Wilson  discussed FN  4,  from  the Office  of  the                                                                    
Governor (OMB Component  21).  He asked  about the estimated                                                                    
cost in outgoing  years. He thought the $7  million cost was                                                                    
broken down but wanted to have more detail.                                                                                     
Ms.  Fenumiai explained  that  the  $7 million  incorporated                                                                    
signature verification and reprinting  all of the division's                                                                    
envelopes,  and  it  was  not   yet  determined  what  other                                                                    
materials would need to be  reprinted. There was an estimate                                                                    
for  prepaid postage.  Additional  costs such  as staff  for                                                                    
monitoring  the  cure  process  and  hotline  were  given  a                                                                    
ballpark  figure. She  was  not  able to  come  up with  the                                                                    
ongoing  costs.  The  $5 million  was  associated  with  the                                                                    
procurement of a new voting system,  which was put out for a                                                                    
future year  because a prior  bill had an effective  date in                                                                    
later years while the current  bill had an effective date of                                                                    
Co-Chair Bishop thought  it was safe to say  that the fiscal                                                                    
notes were a moving target the bill was finalized.                                                                              
Ms. Fenumiai stated  that the division had done  its best to                                                                    
provide accurate  numbers on the  fiscal note based  on cost                                                                    
estimations  for   what  was  included  in   the  bill.  She                                                                    
discussed the importance  of a thorough analysis  of the new                                                                    
elements  proposed in  the bill  for determining  costs. She                                                                    
emphasized  that until  there  was a  request for  proposals                                                                    
(RFP) issued,  the cost of a  new system was not  known. She                                                                    
had  used  current  costs  to  aid  in  estimations  of  new                                                                    
systems. She  had heard  in previous  committees that  a new                                                                    
open-source  system would  be  about half  the  cost of  the                                                                    
current system.                                                                                                                 
Senator  Wilson  understood  that  most  fiscal  notes  were                                                                    
educated  guesses as  to expected  costs.  He thought  there                                                                    
seemed  to be  a  minimum of  $7 million,  and  he wanted  a                                                                    
further detail on  a cost analysis for  first-year costs. He                                                                    
thought it  seemed that departments  were getting  lazy with                                                                    
fiscal notes  and emphasized the importance  of fiscal notes                                                                    
in the committee process.                                                                                                       
10:39:05 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Shower  did not argue  with the  director's position                                                                    
on the  matter. He  affirmed the  accuracy of  the statement                                                                    
regarding the cost  of a new open-source  system. He thought                                                                    
the Dominion  system had cost  $4 million. He added  that it                                                                    
was  important  that  the  sponsor   was  not  suggesting  a                                                                    
direction to  a specific vendor. He  acknowledged that there                                                                    
were other less costly options.                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Bishop  asked  Ms. Fenumiai  what  year  the  last                                                                    
update to the states voting machines was completed.                                                                             
Ms.  Fenumiai relayed  that the  division  had procured  new                                                                    
voting equipment  in 2019  and used  the new  tabulators and                                                                    
voting tablets in the 2020 election cycle.                                                                                      
Senator  Shower  thanked  the  testifiers.  He  thanked  the                                                                    
members.  He mentioned  Co-Chair Stedman's  earlier remarks.                                                                    
He  hoped he  had highlighted  some of  the reasons  for the                                                                    
changes  proposed  in the  bill,  as  well  as some  of  the                                                                    
states   vulnerabilities.   He  wanted   to  add   that  the                                                                    
lieutenant  governor   supported  the  bill.   He  mentioned                                                                    
discussions with  the lieutenant  governor, who  agreed that                                                                    
there  were problems  and vulnerabilities  such as  with the                                                                    
automatic voter registration.                                                                                                   
SB  39  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
Co-Chair Bishop discussed the agenda for the afternoon.                                                                         
10:42:49 AM                                                                                                                   
The meeting was adjourned at 10:42 a.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 39 Sec Analysis Final.pdf SFIN 4/28/2022 9:00:00 AM
SB 39
SB 39 Sponsor Statement (JUD).pdf SFIN 4/28/2022 9:00:00 AM
SB 39