In the 1960s, Hawaii had the highest voter turnout in the nation. Fifty years later, it is now 50th among the 50 states. Now, state lawmakers are considering a measure to reverse the trend by allowing same-day voter registration. According to the State Elections Office, only 42 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the 2012 primary election. Just under 62 percent turned out in the general election. House Bill 2590 would allow voter registrations at early-voting sites in 2016, and same-day registration in 2018. Same-day voter registration is already allowed in eleven states and the District of Columbia.
… Supporters contend that allowing same-day registration will increase voter turnout by five to eight percentage points. The Elections Office supports the measure, but at least one lawmakers remains skeptical.
“First of all I still have a gripe with the Elections Office and the elections process from two years ago,” said Sen. Sam Slom (R-Hawaii Kai, Kahala), referring to ballot shortages in the general election. “You know, they screwed up badly. There were no sanctions or anything else from that. There’s the possibility of fraud.”
“There are existing provisions in the law to prevent voter fraud,” said Ing. “It’s a felony if you try to lie at the polls in registration or voting, and it’s not really worth it just for an extra vote. It doesn’t happen. It’s really a non-issue.”