Votes; Counting

Requires a recount in elections when results between top 2
leading candidates is less than 0.5% of the votes cast for each
candidate excluding spoiled, over or under, and blank ballots.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.36         
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that, as recently as the
 2 November 1998 election, the Hawaii supreme court was called upon
 3 to order a manual ballot recount of precinct 1 in the 44th House
 4 District, in Waianae-Makaha.  This recount was necessary because
 5 of the very close election result in that race.  However, the
 6 legislature finds that this process takes too long because while
 7 the election was held in early November 1998, the manual recount
 8 could not occur until nearly the middle of January 1999.  In the
 9 meantime, the final result of the election and the confirming of
10 the true winner was left uncertain.  Machines are not perfect and
11 there is a need for automatic recounts of votes when an election
12 results in a very close race.  The purpose of this Act is to
13 require an automatic recount of votes cast under certain
14 conditions, without requiring the intervention of the judiciary.
15      SECTION 2.  Chapter 11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
16 by adding a new section to part X to be appropriately designated
17 and to read as follows:
18      "11-    Recount of votes cast for close contests.  (a)
19 Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, if, within three days

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                                     H.B. NO.36         

 1 after an election it appears to the chief election officer that
 2 the plurality of an elected candidate for an office over the vote
 3 for a defeated candidate receiving the next highest number of
 4 votes was less than a vote equivalent to one-half of one per cent
 5 of the total number of votes cast for the office, excluding
 6 spoiled, over or under counts, and blank ballots, the chief
 7 election officer shall order a manual recount of votes for that
 8 contest, to be conducted within fifteen working days.  Before the
 9 recount is made, the chief election officer shall give notice in
10 writing to the two leading candidates in that contest of the time
11 and place where that recount is to be made.  The two leading
12 candidates in that contest may send two representatives each to
13 be present at that recount.  At the completion of the recount,
14 the chief election officer shall announce the officer's findings
15 within twenty-four hours.  The chief election officer may adopt
16 rules under chapter 91 to implement this section in a fair,
17 uniform, and impartial manner.  For purposes of this section,
18 "total number of votes cast" means in the case of multiple
19 openings for the same office, the total number of electors
20 checked as having voted in the State, district, or political
21 subdivision, as the case may be.
22      (b)  Nothing in this section shall preclude the right to
23 judicial proceedings under this chapter."

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                                     H.B. NO.36         

 1      SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.
 2      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 4                              INTRODUCED BY:______________________