Political Parties

Amends the elections law to make it easier for a political party
to qualify and operate in Hawaii.  (SD1)

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that political parties can
 2 play a valuable public service in providing a platform of ideas
 3 around which individuals can organize.  The identification of
 4 candidates by political party affiliation on election ballots
 5 gives important information to the voter.  Participation in the
 6 electoral process is also enhanced by having various political
 7 parties offering their differing views to the public.  It is
 8 important to allow this process to continue to enrich the
 9 political process by eliminating arbitrary barriers to the
10 operation of political parties.
11      The purpose of this Act is to amend current qualification
12 processes to make it easier for political parties to operate in
13 Hawaii.
14      SECTION 2.  Section 11-61, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
15 amended to read as follows:
16      "11-61  "Political party" defined.  (a)  The term
17 "political party" means any party which has qualified as a
18 political party under sections 11-62 and 11-64 and has not been
19 disqualified by this section.  A political party shall be an

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 1 association of voters united for the purpose of promoting a
 2 common political end or carrying out a particular line of
 3 political policy and which maintains a general organization
 4 throughout the State, including a regularly constituted central
 5 committee and county committees in each county other than
 6 Kalawao.
 7      (b)  Any party which does not meet the [following]
 8 requirements under subsections (c) and (d) or the requirements
 9 set forth in sections 11-62 to 11-64, shall be subject to
10 disqualification[:
11      (1)  A party must have had candidates running for election
12           at the last general election for any of the offices
13           listed in paragraph (2) whose terms had expired.  This
14           does not include those offices which were vacant
15           because the incumbent had died or resigned before the
16           end of the incumbent's term; and
17      (2)  The party received at least ten per cent of all votes
18           cast:
19           (A)  For any of the offices voted upon by all the
20                voters in the State;
21           (B)  In at least fifty per cent of the congressional
22                districts;

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 1           (C)  In at least the six senatorial districts with the
 2                lowest votes cast for the office of state senator;
 3                or
 4           (D)  In at least fifty per cent of the representative
 5                districts for the office of state representative].
 6      (c)  All political parties must submit annually a list of
 7 fifty or more persons duly registered to vote in the State who
 8 are members of that party.  The list shall include names,
 9 addresses, signatures, and either the birth date or social
10 security number for each individual.
11      The list of party members need not include all members of
12 the party.  Fifty valid signatures is sufficient for purposes of
13 this section.
14      The signers shall attest to language appearing above their
15 signatures stating that they are a member of the party and agree
16 to follow its rules.
17      The list shall be submitted to the chief election officer
18 between January 1 and April 30 annually.
19      (d)  In addition to the requirements of subsection (c), in
20 order to qualify for the primary and general election as a
21 political party, a party must demonstrate one of the following:
22      (1)  The party is an affiliate of a national party that has

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 1           run a presidential candidate qualified in at least ten
 2           states in either of the last two preceding presidential
 3           elections;
 4      (2)  The party has run qualified candidates for office in
 5           Hawaii in at least three of the last six general
 6           elections; or
 7      (3)  The party has complied with the petition requirements
 8           of section 11-62."
 9      SECTION 3.  Section 11-62, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
10 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
11      "(a)  Any group of persons hereafter desiring to qualify as
12 a political party for election ballot purposes in the State shall
13 file with the chief election officer a petition as provided in
14 [[]this[]] section.  The petition for qualification as a
15 political party shall:
16      (1)  Be filed not later than 4:30 p.m. on the one hundred
17           seventieth day prior to the next primary;
18      (2)  Declare as concisely as may be the intention of signers
19           thereof to qualify as a statewide political party in
20           the State and state the name of the new party;
21      (3)  Contain the name, signature, residence address, date of
22           birth, and other information as determined by the chief

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                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 1

 1           election officer of currently registered voters
 2           comprising not less than one-tenth of one per cent of
 3           the total registered voters of the State as of the last
 4           preceding general election;
 5      (4)  Be accompanied by the names and addresses of the
 6           officers of the central committee and of the respective
 7           county committees of the political party and by the
 8           party rules; and
 9      (5)  Be upon the form prescribed and provided by the chief
10           election officer."
11      SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
12 New statutory material is underscored.
13      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.