Rule 507 Political vote. Every person has a privilege to refuse to disclose the tenor of the person's vote at a political election conducted pursuant to chapter 11, by secret ballot unless the vote was cast illegally. [L 1980, c 164, pt of 1; gen ch 1985]

 

RULE 507 COMMENTARY

 

This rule is similar to Uniform Rule of Evidence 506 and to the unenacted U.S. Supreme Court proposal for Rule 507, see Rules of Evidence for U.S. Courts and Magistrates as promulgated by the U.S. Supreme Court, 28 App. U.S. Code Service, App. 6 (1975). The Advisory Committee's Note to proposed Rule 507 pointed out: "Secrecy in voting is an essential aspect of effective democratic government, insuring free exercise of the franchise and fairness in elections. Secrecy after the ballot has been cast is as essential as secrecy in the act of voting."

The present rule applies only if the election in question was "political [and] conducted pursuant to chapter 11 [of the Hawaii Rev. Stat. (1976)]." The scope is accordingly governed by Hawaii Rev. Stat. 11-3 (1976): "This chapter shall apply to all elections, primary, special primary, general, special general, special, or county, held in the State." Provision in the rule for an exception in the event of an illegally cast vote is consistent with the law of election offenses and crimes, Hawaii Rev. Stat. ch. 19 (1976).

 

 

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