Open Government


An open and accountable government is the cornerstone to a healthy democracy.

YPDA Hawaiʻi supports legislation that expands voting rights and protects the public's right to access the documents and proceedings of the government to allow for effective public oversight. Efforts to expand voter access and modernize the election process, including policies such as vote by mail, automatic voter registration, publicly-financed elections and ranked choice voting, will restore balance to our democracy and put a check on the wealthy special interests trying to change the rules and write the voice of the people out of our democracy.

Automatic Voter Registration Bills To support


Talking Points (Download)

  • Automatic Voter Registration is a step towards much needed modernization of elections in Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i is using out-of-date systems and decades-old technology. It’s time to modernize. Hawai‘i, implemented Online Voter Registration in 2015 and phased in same day registration starting in 2016. Automatic Voter Registration is the logical next step.

  • Hawai‘i has had the lowest voter turnout in the country for the last 20 years. This will help turn that around by increasing convenience and improving access to voting. As of December 2018, AVR has been approved in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Research shows that AVR improves the likelihood that people will vote by minimizing bureaucracy and requiring less time and effort from eligible voters.

  • Automatic Voter Registration will enhance the security of our elections. Recent court challenges surrounding local races highlight the need for greater security. Elections will be more secure due to the increased accuracy of voter rolls and use of an encrypted system, rather than paper forms, to transfer data.

  • Automatic Voter Registration will ensure accuracy and privacy. All eligible voters in Hawai‘i will be registered to vote at their current address, tightening the security of our elections by ensuring that ballots are sent to the correct location and correct voter. Privacy will be protected, and those who wish to opt-out may still do so.

  • Automatic Voter Registration is 30 times cheaper than traditional paper registration. It cost nearly $575,000 to process paper forms in Hawai‘i during the 2016 election. This does not include the printing of voter registration forms, mailings related to duplicate registration entries, and the postage of forwarding registration forms to the proper recipient. Nor does it include more than 33,000 applications submitted during the 2016 election cycle that the state did not categorize when reporting the data. Up-to-date voter rolls will help reduce the cost of sending ballots to wrong addresses.

  • Automatic Voter Registration improves access to voting for citizens. AVR helps ensure that voting isn’t needlessly difficult for working and military families who move frequently, as well as homebound seniors, students, and voters in rural areas. AVR reduces unnecessary barriers to voting and greatly reduces the time demands required to vote for people holding multiple jobs or who are juggling school, work and family.