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United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Post.

Voter registration. Hearings, Ninety-third Congress, first session, on S. 352 and S. 472. Feb. 7, 8, and March 16, 1973 online

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in printout form or on tape, could be transmitted to a national cen-
tralized data bank, possibly in the Census Bureau. This would provide
additional coordination and cross-checking to prevent duplicate reg-
istration. States would be notified of any voters i-egistered at the



44

same time in more than one jurisdiction. Moreover, this information
would provide a continuing accurate national census. Such information
would be doubly helpful because census subdivisions in many cases
coincide with political subdivisions. Thirdly, such a national coordina-
tion center would provide a permanent cadre of statisticians who could
assist the State. Such a system would also provide a secure backup
voter list in the event the original was lost or destroyed.

Such a comprehensive data bank would prevent fraud. It would
keep voting lists accurate. Perhaps most importantly, it would assist
our mobile population to retain the franchise. It would prevent the
present disinf ranchisement of new arrivals.

By the same token, it would not provide for arbitrary removal of
persons. from the list. Alaska, for example, requires that if a person
does not vote at least once every -i years, he must be notified that he
must reregister. Such a system could provide for automatic notifica-
tion in such cases.

Alaska is presently studying the possibility of installing just such
an on-line registration system within our State. We can already in-
stantly retrieve data on motor vehicle registration, tax return informa-
tion, fishing and hunting licenses. The technology to apply these tech-
niques to voter registration already exists. We should utilize it.

The information we will need is basic: the voter's name, his address,
his social security number, his age — at least whether he is over 18 —
his party affiliation or a statement he is nonpartisan or is not affiliated
with any party — both categories are permissible in Alaska — a state-
ment that he is not registered elsewhere, or if he is, a request that he
be stricken from the other State's voter rolls.

We will not invade the voter's privacy by requiring this informa-
tion. Tliis information is already public. Voter rolls are now available
for public purchase in many States including Alaska. Is or do we seek
to pry or invade the voter's right to privacy. This right will remain
inviolate under both the Federal and State constitutions — Alaska re-
cently amended its constitution to grant to each citizen the right to
privacy. We seek only the minimum information to provide accurate
registration and to prevent fraud.

I believe the Federal Government should provide a series of grants
for States to maintain current lists of eligible voters. This is presently
spelled out in section 406 of S. 472. It is not mentioned in such detail
in S. 352. I believe the final legislation should provide explicit author-
ization for such programs.

I specifically recommend the following program :

The Federal Government should provide grants of a specified
amount, say 10 cents, for each eligible voter for States with less than
80-percent registration. Above that level of performance, the Federal
Government should provide 50-percent matching categorical grants.
This would permit the States with a relatively small number of voters
but with additional costs and high registration to continue to provide

full coverage.

Moreover, in order to get any Federal funding, each State would
have to provide universal registration.

The important fact is that such a program would provide for univer-
sal registration by the States. Furthermore, such a system of matching



45

grants would provide a means whereby all States would be able to pro-
vide the fullest registration.

Eegistration programs are costly. For example, in Alaska we will
spend $797,000 for elections in 1973. This will be approximately $5.30
per registered voter. At least 50 percent of this will go for registration.
We estimate off-year registration efforts will cost approximately
$253,000. Moreover, as a result of the recent tragic mishap in which
Congressmen Boggs and Begich lost their lives last November, a spe-
cial statewide election must be held March 6 to fill Alaska's at-large
congressional seat vacancy. A bill has recently been introduced in the
State legislature to appropriate $150,000 for this purpose. The actual
cost may exceed this.

I believe the legislation should also provide authorization and finan-
cial assistance for States to participate in voter education activities,
such as presently provided by Oregon, Washington and California,
among others. This would include the printing and distribution of
voter assistance pamphlets and other material in order that the elec-
torate might be completely informed of all candidates and issues.
Federal assistance for this purpose is particularly necessary because of
the high costs involved. Oregon Secretary of State Clay Myers recently
described his program :

In the general election, each voter In a district receives the same pamphlet.
These are mailed to each registered elector some two weeks before each state
election, and include information on the candidates (they pay a small fee for
their page), as well as explanatory information and arguments, pro and con, on
ballot measures.

Such a program of voter identification is of great importance for an
informed electorate.

These points I have mentioned are not the only important reforms
possible under this legislation you are considering today. I would also
urge the use of standardized voter registration forms nationwide. I am
enclosing for the record at this point a copy of the Alaska State voter
registration form. I believe it is short and provides all necessary
information.

(Copy of Alaska State voter registration form follows:)



STATE or AlASKA

VOTER REGISTRATION



vC'ES'l



"Fntc'lNlTT"'*"*



lAV.c!TroN"6r"."(M'rrl.



MllliNO



[two/iJifutTiYVwoiT' ]

D MALE D FEMALE






PLACE OF HIHTH



OATEOFPIRTH



NAtUPAl'/AIIOH
DA re



7^'



\ I'fMITNT |-lii"i
! 'RV{Vof Mi'oF'

i I Hi: 'ION

I iM< ri-ici



* IF A NATURALIZED CITIZEN, GIVE DATE ABOVE' ,.,. ,.„

•* ARE YOU WILLING TO SERVE ON AN ELECTION BOARD? Q [H

ttrMini':An r.f'/ri';'M iir;iirAiii5Mi •)•!■■:

_*_PqLITICAL AFFILIATION; Q Q Q l.'J

i Mir''ijTit"i>':ir'l.Yjfo~'6friV;?t~TH/ki iMF'Vrw6oi''io''fAf.i'i'LO'"ir!!miiVV'';-..j

OATH '^*'*""'*"'^'^5 AS A VOUB APE TFijf I fuPinfu OKiAP'; ihat i am a 'mi.-mH

^or nil; uMitrn S'Airs and v/iu pi is vtAns or agh or Oloip on or ric .;i|



THf OAIt Of IHE tjrxt MAHWirif ElCCnON



I A'.i wrlpj(;rj!, (if'jl'Aunro u'lrctAi.



91-577 O— 73-



46



«tato3 .,a,nt .,.„ ,,„,,,, ..a„,,a.U... voter




■.',-J,. I .•!,;



SlAll: OF ALAbl^A

VOIER REGISIRAIION NO. 01271832



THIS CERTIFIES THATi



MAX F GRUENBERG JR

C/0 SEN TEO STEVENS #^ll

WASHINGTON DC 20510



IS A DULY REGISTERED VOTER IN THE STATE OF ALASKA
!..,.,„,. OOVr.RNOR ^ I ir.imNANT GOVERNOR 1

Lieutenant Governor Boucher. Other areas in which additional
work is necessary inchide absentee voting ; intrastate cooperation and
coordination between local election boards; the simplification and
shortening of ballots in many States; the standardization and con-
solidation of election dates to prevent unnecessary duplication of local
elections ; and additional training and pay for elections officials.

The public deserves the best system this country can provide. The
election is one of the few times a citizen can directly participate in the
decisionmaking process.

Clay Myers has said that :

Systems must be workable in each neighborhood and in every community in
our state, as well as meet national objectives and standards designed to confirm
that voting is an inalienable right — not a privilege or a license.

I agree. The right to vote is totally meaningless if the citizen cannot
exercise it. This legislation will bring government to each individual
citizen. It will permit citizens from every walk of life to insure their
government is responsive and responsible. It provides them with a
constructive method of voicing their opinion and will, if properly
utilized by our citizens, have a direct and substantial effect on the
course of this Nation's policies in the future.

It is about time for such legislation. There is no area where State
and local governments need assistance more — primarily in the areas
of financial assistance, establishing guidelines, and obtaining a source
of expertise. There is no area where these are needed more than in
the overall field of elections. The imagination that you and Senator
Kennedy have displayed I think is great.

The Chairman. And Senator Stevens.

Lieutenant Governor Boucher. And Senator Stevens also. This
legislation is a giant step forward is solving this problem, which



47

unfortunately many of the citizens of our country are not aware
exists.

Most unfortunately in the past, the majority of the people who have
been charged with the administration of elections have viewed govern-
ment as a passive participant in the electoral process with no respon-
sibility for affecting individual citizens. These officials by and large
apparently believe that the initiative must lie entirely with the indi-
vidual citizen, This would seem to suggest one reason why 62 million
Americans did not vote in 1972.

I would like to quote from the League of Women Voters recent
pamphlet on the administrative obstacles to voting which certainly
would seem to sum it up.

It would seem that if government can find a citizen to tax him or to draft
him into the military service, is it not reasonable to assume that government
can find that same citizen to enroll him as an eligible voter and include him
in the active electorate.

Both bills, S. 352 and S. 472 are a positive step in this direction.
People may differ on whether they agree or disagree with the specific
methods that are being applied. However really what we are talking
about in the final analysis is the identification of the voter and exert-
ing every effort to see that he is enrolled as a member of the electorate
and has every opportunity to vote.

A number of States have taken different approaches. I would
like to include here for the record, a booklet describing a very
imaginative program by our sister State to the south, the State of
Hawaii. This details their voter registration program for 1970. It is.a
rather comprehensive program that involves the door-to-door
approach. This system might well be incorporated with the post card
mailout.

(The aforementioned booklet follows :)



48



Voter Registration Program




49



TABLE OF CONTENTS



SUBJECT PAGE

Introduction 5

Voter Registration Survey 7

House-to-House Registration 16

Registration at Locations 18

Re-registration Program at the Polling Places 24

Results of the Voter Registration Program 27

Statistics 31



50



INTRODUCTION

The Constitution of the State of Hawaii, Article III, Section 4, states that "The
IjCfjislaturc shall provide for a chief election officer of the State, whose respon-
sibilities shall be as prescribed by law and shall include the supervision of state
elections, the maximization of registration of eligible voters throughout the State
and the maintenance of data concerning registered voters, elections, apportionment
and districting." Section ll-2(b), HRS, further states that "In maximizing registra-
tion the chief election officer shall make an effort to equalize registration between
districts, with particular effort in those districts in which he determines registration
is lower than desirable. The chief election officer in carrying out this function may
make surveys, carry on house to house canvassing, and assist or direct the clerk in
any other area of registration."

In order to fulfil the requirements of our State Constitution and Statutes, our
office launched out on a Voter Registration Program which was authorized and
funded by the Legislature. The goals of the program were as follows:

(1) To determine the registration level in each representative district of our
state.

(2) To implement a registration program to maximize and equalize voter reg-
istration levels throughout the State.

The following report outlines the programs which were developed to fulfil the
purposes listed above, and the results obtained from them.

This report was prepared by Joyce Azama, Sharon Higa, Marsha Kim, Evelyn
Oshiro and Morris Takushi of the elections staff in the Office of the Lieutenant
Governor, Lieutenant Governor Thomas P. Gill.



51



VOTER REGISTRATION SURVEY

During the fall of 1969, a voter registration survey was conducted on Oahu. To
save time and money, various state agencies already doing surveys were asked to
cooperate in gathering registration data. The Department of Health which was
conducting a health survey included our survey with theirs. Their interviewers and
ours worked on gathering the voter registration information. The samples were
randomly selected from a utility company's list of customers in Honolulu.

The purposes of the survey were to determine the following:

(l)The percentage of voters registered, of the total eligible to register to vote.
(2) The percentage of voters correctly registered in the precincts in which they
reside, of the total registered voters.

Again with the assistance of the Department of Health, we expanded our survey
to the neighbor islands during the spring of 1970.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SURVEY

The interviewers were instructed to interview all those in each household of
voting age and those who will have been 20 years of age prior to the 1970 General
Election. A sample of the questionnaire is shown on pages 8 & 9.

The respondent was first asked if he was registered in the State of Hawaii for
the 1968 elections. If the answer was "yes", he was then asked (1) if he had voted in
the Primary and General Elections of that year, (2) at what polling place he voted,
(3) if he had requested a transfer of address with the City Clerk's Office since the
last election and (4) if he has lived at the present address since August 4, 1968 (three
months prior to the 1968 General Election). These questions were aimed at
determining whether the voter was living in the precinct in which he was registered.
If the answer was "no", the respondent was asked to give the reason(s) why he had
not registered for the 1968 elections, and if he had done so since those elections. For
one who had recently moved to our state, our interviewer inquired if the respondent
would be a resident of our state for at least one year prior to November 3, 1970.
These questions were aimed at determining the individual's eligibility to register
to vote.



52



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53



VOTER REGISTRATION SURVEY
(Please print neatly and clearly)



Name



Address



N\imber of years lived in Hawaii
Social Security Number



Place of Birth:
/~7 Hawaii

U.S. Mainland
Elsewhere



Birthdate



Between what dates were you born?

/~7 November 3,
November 3 ,
November 3,
November 3 ,
November 3 ,
November 3 ,
November 3,



1950


-


November


2,


1948


1948





November


2,


1945


1945





November


2,


1940


1940





November


2,


1930


1930





November


2,


1920


1920





November


2,


1910


1910


&


Before







Initial attempt:
Interviewer



Date



No contact :

/~7 Not at home

Refused interview or not cooperative
Other reason ,



Phone number of resident (res)



(bus)



Phone contact:
Interviewer



Second attempt:
Interviewer



Third attempt:
Interviewer



Date



Date



Date



54



RESULTS OF THE SURVEY

The results of the survey guided our registration efforts in the spring and sum-
mer months of 1970 in an attempt to raise registration to the maximum level in
each district. Tables A, B, C, D, and E shows the results of these surveys.

The survey results in Table A shows that only 78.1% of the total eligible to regis-

■ ter to vote on Oahu were actually registered. This would mean that approximately

60,000 individuals (Table C) who were eligible were not registered on Oahu. The

statistics show the Kalihi-Palama area to have the lowest level of registration and

the Kahala-Hawaii Kai area the highest.

Table B shows that 82.2% of the voters on Oahu reside where they are registered.
A similar survey conducted in 1968 produced a result of 75%. This percentage
increase seems to indicate that our efforts to encourage voters at the polling places
on election days to transfer their addresses have produced positive results. A total
of 16,635 applications were taken on the days of the 1968 Primary and General
Elections, the Akizaki-Fong Special Election and the City Charter Special Election.
The Waikiki area, as can be expected because of its transient nature, showed the
lowest percentage of voters residing at their registered address. The Kailua-
Waimanalo area reflected the highest percentage.

Voter registration surveys on the neighbor islands began in early February and
concluded in August of 1970. The results showed that Hawaii County had the highest
percentage of registered voters with 91.9% registered of the total eligible to register.
Kauai was next with 85.6% followed by Maui with 84.2%. Table D shows the results
of these surveys.

Table E shows the results by counties.



10



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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on PostVoter registration. Hearings, Ninety-third Congress, first session, on S. 352 and S. 472. Feb. 7, 8, and March 16, 1973 → online text (page 5 of 28)