Report Title:

Elections; Special Elections; Campaigns; Ballot Recount



Requires special elections to be conducted by mail; requires ballot recounts in close contests; requires separate ballots for each party; prohibits holding office upon conviction rather than sentencing; appropriates unspecified funds to elections office for voter education. (SD1)


H.B. NO.



S.D. 1






relating to elections.



SECTION 1. Chapter 11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"§11-    Special elections. All special elections shall be conducted solely by mail."

SECTION 2. Chapter 12, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"§12-    Recount of votes cast for close contests. (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, if, within three days after any election it appears to the chief election officer that the plurality of an elected candidate for an office over the vote for a defeated candidate receiving the next highest number of votes was less than a vote equivalent to:

(1) One-eighth of one per cent of the total number of votes cast for a statewide office; or

(2) One-fourth of one per cent of the total number of votes cast for other state and county offices;

excluding spoiled, over or under counts, and blank ballots, the chief election officer shall order a recount of votes for that contest, to be conducted within fifteen working days. Before the recount is made, the chief election officer shall give notice in writing to the two leading candidates in that contest of the time and place where that recount is to be made. The two leading candidates in that contest may send two representatives each to be present at that recount. At the completion of the recount, the chief election officer shall announce the officer’s findings within twenty-four hours. The chief election officer may adopt rules under chapter 91 to implement this section in a fair, uniform, and impartial manner.

For purposes of this section, "total number of votes cast" means, in the case of multiple openings for the same office, the total number of electors checked as having voted in the State, district, or political subdivision, as the case may be.

(b) Nothing in this section shall preclude the right to judicial proceedings under this chapter."

SECTION 3. Section 12-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"§12-21 Official party ballots. The primary or special primary ballot shall be clearly designated as such. The names of the candidates of each party qualifying under section 11-61 or 11-62 and of nonpartisan candidates [may] shall be printed on separate ballots[, or on a single ballot]. The name of each party and the nonpartisan designation shall be distinctly printed and sufficiently separate from each other. The names of all candidates shall be printed on the ballot as provided in section 11-115. When the names of all candidates of the same party for the same office exceed the maximum number of voting positions on a single side of a ballot card, the excess names may be arranged and listed on both sides of the ballot card and additional ballot cards if necessary. [When separate ballots for each party are not used, the order in which parties appear on the ballot, including nonpartisan, shall be determined by lot.]

The chief election officer or the county clerk, in the case of county elections, shall approve printed samples or proofs of the respective party ballots as to uniformity of size, weight, shape, and thickness prior to final printing of the official ballots."

SECTION 4. Section 831-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (b) to read as follows:

"(b) [A] Notwithstanding subsection (a), a public office held at the time of [sentence] conviction is forfeited as of the date of the [sentence] conviction if the [sentence] conviction is in this State, or, if the [sentence] conviction is in another state or in a federal court, as of the date a certification of the [sentence] conviction from the [sentencing] court is filed in the office of the lieutenant governor who shall receive and file it as a public document. An appeal or other proceeding taken to set aside or otherwise nullify the conviction or sentence does not affect the application of this section, but if the conviction is reversed the defendant shall be restored to any public office forfeited under this chapter from the time of the reversal and shall be entitled to the emoluments thereof from the time of the forfeiture."

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $       , or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2002-2003, for the purposes of maximizing voter registration and promoting public education with respect to voter materials.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the office of elections for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 6. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act, upon approval, shall take effect on November 6, 2002; provided that section 5 shall take effect on July 1, 2002.