Bill Text: HI HB1280 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Proposing An Amendment To The Hawaii Constitution, Article Ii, Section 1, To Expand The Right To Vote.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 14-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-13 - The committee(s) on JUD recommend(s) that the measure be deferred. [HB1280 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-HB1280-Introduced.html

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1280

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

Proposing an amendment to the hawaii constitution, ARticle II, section 1, to expand the right to vote.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  The purpose of this Act is to propose an amendment to article II, section 1, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii to expand the right to vote.

     The legislature finds that voter turnout remains low in Hawaii, and continues to decline.  In 2016, Hawaii had the lowest voter turnout in the United States.  Only 52.6 per cent of registered Hawaii voters cast ballots in the 2018 general election.  This represents a sharp decline in voter turnout over the years, as approximately ninety-three per cent of registered voters cast ballots in Hawaii's first gubernatorial election in 1959.

     The legislature further finds that voting is the cornerstone of American democracy.  Expanding the right to vote to those sixteen years of age and older will not only increase voter turnout, but will encourage civic engagement at a young age.

     The legislature finds there are many sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds who are passionate about voting and would like to vote.  In 2018, thirty-one per cent of qualified voters in the United States between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine voted.  This represents a ten per cent increase in voter turnout for voters between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine from the 2016 election.

     The legislature finds that voting at a young age creates and empowers lifelong voters.  Data shows that after an individual votes once, he or she becomes a habitual voter.  Therefore, expanding voter rights to those sixteen years of age and older will empower a new generation of lifelong voters.

     SECTION 2.  Article 2, section 1, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii is amended to read as follows:

     "QUALIFICATIONS

     Section 1.  Every citizen of the United States who shall have attained the age of [eighteen] sixteen years, have been a resident of this State not less than one year next preceding the election and be a voter registered as provided by law, shall be qualified to vote in any state or local election."

     SECTION 3.  The question to be printed on the ballot shall be as follows:

     "Shall voting rights for state and local elections be expanded to those who are sixteen years of age or older?"

     SECTION 4.  Constitutional material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New constitutional material is underscored.

     SECTION 5.  This amendment shall take effect upon compliance with article XVII, section 3, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Voting; Hawaii Constitution; Amendment

 

Description:

Lowers the right to vote in state and local elections to those who are sixteen years of age or older per the Hawaii Constitution.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.

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