They tried during six different meetings, but state lawmakers last month could not reach an agreement on a bill that would have allowed Hawaii residents to register to vote on election day. House Bill 321 was introduced to increase access to voting. Current state law requires that a voter register 30 days before an election. In testimony submitted on the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union said in the 2012 election, 62% of Hawaii’s registered voters went to the polls – the lowest voter turnout in the nation.
According to the ACLU, at least 10 states already had same-day voter registration laws, and legislation that would allow it had been proposed in 14 more.
The Associated Press has reported that same-day voter registration is increasingly becoming a partisan issue.
This year, Colorado became No. 11, AP said, joining Democratic-controlled states like California, Connecticut and Maryland in passing such a law which the news service said usually helps younger and poorer voters who typically vote Democratic.
Republicans tried unsuccessfully to overturn same-day registration in Maine in 2011, and a referendum to do that may be on the ballot next year in Montana.
However, with Democrats firmly in control of Hawaii’s Legislature, it appears it was logistics rather than ideology driving the debate here.
Full Article: No Agreement on Election-Day Registration | Big Island Now.