THE SENATE                           S.C.R. NO.            208
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                S.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                    SENATE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION
  REQUESTING THE LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE BUREAU TO COMPARE HAWAII'S
    ELECTION SYSTEM WITH THAT OF OTHER STATES AND ESTABLISHING
    AN ELECTIONS REVIEW TASK FORCE TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
    CHANGES TO HAWAII'S ELECTION LAWS.


 1        WHEREAS, the 1998 elections in Hawaii were marred by
 2   questionable results in at least one very close race; and
 3   
 4        WHEREAS, the Hawaii Supreme Court was called upon to order
 5   a manual ballot recount of precinct 1 in the 44th
 6   Representative District in Waianae-Makaha, the recount being
 7   necessary because of the very close election result in that
 8   race; and
 9   
10        WHEREAS, because of widespread uncertainty over the entire
11   1998 election results, a machine recount of all races was
12   completed in early March 1999, and then a manual recount of
13   selected races was conducted for six close races; and
14   
15        WHEREAS, the March 1999 machine recount did not reveal any
16   changes in the election results nor did the results indicate
17   any fraud or abuse on behalf of election officials or workers;
18   and
19   
20        WHEREAS, the integrity of the election process and the
21   trust of the electorate in the electoral system should not be
22   allowed to diminish; and
23   
24        WHEREAS, several other election-related issues have been
25   raised this year including an evaluation of the job performance
26   of the Chief Election Officer to continue in that position; and
27   
28        WHEREAS, it may be time to examine Hawaii's election
29   system in comparison to other states to see if any difference
30   might account for the public's dwindling confidence in the
31   system; now, therefore,
32   
33        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
34   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, the House of
35   Representatives Senate concurring, that the Legislative
36   Reference Bureau is requested to compare certain aspects of
37   Hawaii's election system against other states, specifically:
38   

 
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                                  S.C.R. NO.            208
                                                        S.D. 1
                                                        


 1        (1)  Voter registration information, including providing
 2             public access to information versus protecting
 3             individual privacy;
 4   
 5        (2)  Ballot access, including requirements for
 6             qualification for both primary and general elections;
 7   
 8        (3)  Primary election dates and types, including whether
 9             the primary is open or closed;
10   
11        (4)  Format of elections, including prescribing mail-in or
12             absentee ballots for certain voters, such as the
13             disabled and for certain elections or precincts;
14   
15        (5)  Election contests and challenges, including the need
16             for a prima facie evidence standard for bringing
17             election contests before the challenge is filed;
18   
19        (6)  Election appeals and recounts, including the process
20             and procedures to be followed by the challenger and
21             the elections office;
22   
23        (7)  Election tally systems, including the process to be
24             followed in selecting a new system and migrating from
25             the old system;
26   
27        (8)  Administration of special elections, such as the
28             Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and
29             Commissioners of the Department of Hawaiian Homes
30             Commission; and
31   
32        (9)  Other factors that might affect ease of electoral
33             participation or increasing public confidence in the
34             elections process;
35   and
36   
37        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President of the Senate
38   and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are requested
39   to appoint an Elections Review Task Force to include the
40   Chairpersons of the respective Senate and House Judiciary
41   Committees, the Chief Election Officer, representatives from
42   the Association of Clerks and Elections Officers of Hawaii, the
43   Election Advisory Committee, political parties, and community
44   organizations such as the League of Women Voters and Common
45   Cause Hawaii, to review the report from the Legislative
46   Reference Bureau and make recommendations about changes to our
47   elections laws;
48   

 
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                                                        S.D. 1
                                                        


 1        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislative Reference
 2   Bureau is requested to submit a report of findings and
 3   recommendations to the Task Force no later than November 15,
 4   1999; and
 5   
 6        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Task Force is requested to
 7   submit a report, including proposed legislation, to the
 8   Legislature twenty days prior to the convening of the regular
 9   session of 2000; and
10   
11        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this
12   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Acting Director of
13   the Legislative Reference Bureau, the Chief Election Officer,
14   the County Clerk of each county, the Hawaii Association of
15   Clerks and Election Officers of Hawaii, the Election Advisory
16   Committee, the Chairperson of the Democratic Party of Hawaii,
17   the Chairperson of the Green Party of Hawaii, the Chairperson
18   of the Libertarian Party of Hawaii, the Chairperson of the
19   Republican Party of Hawaii, the League of Women Voters, and
20   Common Cause Hawaii.