Report Title:

Constitutional Amendment; Recall of Legislators


Proposes an amendment to the state constitution to provide for the recall of legislators.


H.B. NO.









proposing an amendment to article iI of the constitution of the state of hawaii to provide for the recall of legislators.



SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to propose an amendment to Article II of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii to provide for the recall of legislators.

SECTION 2. Article II of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii is amended by adding a new section to read as follows:


Section . Any member of the legislature may be removed from office at any time by the electors entitled to vote for a successor of the incumbent, through the procedure and in the manner set forth in this section. This procedure shall be known as recall and is in addition to any other method of removal provided by law.

This section is self-executing, but the legislature may enact legislation to facilitate the operation of this section. Any legislation shall not restrict or limit the provisions of this section or the powers reserved in this section.

Any legislator may be removed by recall, which shall be initiated upon petition signed by duly registered voters of the legislator's district equal in number to at least ten percent of the total voters registered in the legislator's district in the last general election held in that district.

The recall petition shall require each signing voter's signature, residence address, social security number, legislative district, and the date of signing. Signatures on a recall petition may be on separate sheets; provided that each sheet shall have appended to it the affidavit of some person, not necessarily a signer of the petition, that to the best of the affiant's knowledge and belief the persons whose signatures appear on the sheet are duly registered voters of the legislator's district, that they signed with full knowledge of the contents of the petition, and that their residences are correctly given.

A recall petition shall be tendered for filing with the chief election officer. The chief election officer shall determine if the petition contains a sufficient number of apparently genuine signatures of registered voters. The chief election officer may question the genuineness of any signature or signatures appearing on the recall petition, and if the chief election officer finds that any signature or signatures are not genuine, the chief election officer shall disregard them in determining whether the petition contains a sufficient number of signatures. The chief election officer also shall disregard any signature dated more than sixty days before the petition was tendered for filing. The chief election officer shall eliminate any sheet of the petition that is not accompanied by the required affidavit. The invalidity of any sheet of the petition shall not affect the validity of the petition if a sufficient number of signatures remain after eliminating any invalid sheet. The chief election officer shall complete the examination of the petition within twenty working days after the submission of the petition to the chief election officer and shall file the petition if valid or reject if invalid.

Upon acceptance of a recall petition for filing, the chief election officer shall notify the legislator to whom the recall petition is directed that the petition has been filed. Upon receipt of notice, the legislator may resign from office and thereupon the recall proceedings shall terminate.

If the legislator does not resign from office within ten days after receiving notice of the filing of the recall petition, the chief election officer shall arrange a recall election. If a general or special election is to be held not less than thirty days nor more than ninety days after the ten days have expired, the recall question shall be placed before the voters at the general or special election. Otherwise, a special recall election shall be fixed for a date not earlier than thirty days nor later than ninety days after the ten days have expired. The legislator may resign at any time prior to the recall election and thereupon the recall election shall not be held.

The following question shall be presented to each voter in a recall election: "Shall (name of legislator) be recalled and removed from the office of (title of office)?"

If a majority of the registered voters who vote on the question at a recall election vote "Yes," the elected officer shall be deemed recalled and removed from office. Otherwise, the legislator shall remain in office. Blank ballots are neither a yes nor a no vote on the question of recall and may not be considered in determining the total vote for purposes of determining majority vote.

No legislator who has been removed from elected office, or who has resigned from an office after a recall petition directed to the legislator has been filed, shall be eligible for election or appointment to any office of the state within two years after the legislator's removal or resignation.

No recall petition shall be filed against a legislator within the first six months of the legislator's term or within six months after an unsuccessful recall election against the legislator."

SECTION 4. The question to be printed on the ballot shall be as follows:

"Shall the Constitution of the State of Hawaii provide for the recall and removal of state legislators?"

SECTION 5. New constitutional material is underscored.

SECTION 6. The amendment shall take effect upon compliance with article XVII, section 3, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii.