Hawaiʻi voters will soon have the opportunity to register to vote at early voting sites and polling places, under a measure that gained final passage in the Hawaiʻi Legislature. Representative Kaniela Ing of South Maui who introduced House Bill 2590 celebrated the bill’s passage saying in a press release announcement, “Hawaiʻi was number one for voter turnout during the 1960s. 50 years later, we are dead last. This bill moves to end this shameful distinction and foster a stronger public voice. We need to take our turnout and turn it around.” Under the election reform measure, residents would be allowed to register to vote at early voting locations in 2016 and at all election day polling places in 2018.
Californians can expect to wait at least two more years for the state’s same-day voter registration law to take effect. Secretary of State Debra Bowen, the state’s chief elections officer, says that the state won’t meet the legal requirements to implement the law until 2016 or later. It’s been frequently ignored, but a late amendment to Assembly Bill 1436 required officials to conduct a statewide voter review before California’s same-day voter registration law can be implemented. According to the Legislative Counsel’s digest for the bill, it becomes operative “on January 1 of the year following the year in which the Secretary of State certifies that the state has a statewide voter registration database that complies with the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002.”