Report Title:

Automatic Election Recounts; Primary Elections

Description:

Requires the chief election officer or county clerk, in the case of a county election, to order a recount of all ballots cast when a small vote difference exists. Changes the date of primary elections to the second Saturday in August.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

756

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

Relating to elections.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

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

"11- Recount for small vote differences. (a) If the difference in the votes cast for the winning and losing candidate for:

(1) An office eligible to be voted on by the voters of the entire State appears to be one-eighth of one per cent or less of the total ballots cast for the office; or

(2) Any other state or county office appears to be one-fourth of one per cent or less of the total ballots cast for that office;

then the chief election officer or county clerk, in the case of a county election, shall order a recount of all the ballots cast for the office where the small vote difference exists.

(b) In the case where several candidates are to be elected to an office with more than one seat, and the percentage difference contained in subsection (a) appears between the votes received by the lowest among the winning candidates and those received by the highest among the losing candidates, the chief election officer or county clerk, in the case of a county election, shall order a recount of the questioned ballots for that contest.

(c) The ballots shall be recounted by a machine count no later than seven days after the election. This section shall not preclude a contest for cause."

SECTION 2. Section 12-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"12-2 Primary held when; candidates only those nominated. The primary shall be held at the polling place for each precinct on the second [to the last Saturday of September] Saturday in August in every even numbered year[; provided that in no case shall any primary election precede a general election by less than forty-five days].

No person shall be a candidate for any general or special general election unless the person has been nominated in the immediately preceding primary or special primary."

SECTION 3. Section 11-173.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"11-173.5 Contests for cause in primary, special primary elections, and county elections held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election. (a) In primary and special primary election contests[,] and county election contests held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election[,] requiring a runoff or automatic recount for small vote difference, the complaint shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the supreme court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the sixth day after a primary or special primary election, or county election contests held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election[,] requiring a runoff or automatic recount for small vote difference, and shall be accompanied by a deposit for costs of court as established by rules of the supreme court. The clerk shall issue to the defendants named in the complaint a summons to appear before the supreme court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fifth day after service thereof.

(b) In primary and special primary election contests, and county election contests held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election[,] requiring a runoff or automatic recount for small vote difference, the court shall hear the contest in a summary manner and at the hearing the court shall cause the evidence to be reduced to writing and shall not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fourth day after the return give judgment fully stating all findings of fact and of law. The judgment shall decide what candidate was nominated or elected, as the case may be, in the manner presented by the petition, and a certified copy of the judgment shall forthwith be served on the chief election officer or the county clerk, as the case may be, who shall place the name of the candidate declared to be nominated on the ballot for the forthcoming general, special general, or runoff election. The judgment shall be conclusive of the right of the candidate so declared to be nominated; provided that this subsection shall not operate to amend or repeal section 12-41."

SECTION 4. Section 11-174.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) In general, special general, special, or runoff elections[,] requiring an automatic recount for small vote difference, the complaint shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the supreme court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the twentieth day following the general, special general, special, [or] runoff election, or automatic recount for small vote differences and shall be accompanied by a deposit for costs of court as established by rules of the supreme court. The clerk shall issue to the defendants named in the complaint a summons to appear before the supreme court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the tenth day after service thereof."

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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By Request