Report Title:

Automatic Election Recounts

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; provides deadlines for filing a complaint to contest the recount. (HB756 HD2)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

756

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

H.D. 2

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 appears to be one-eighth 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 11-173.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) In primary and special primary election contests, and county election contests held concurrently with a regularly scheduled primary or special primary election, 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 [, and]; provided that in the event of an automatic recount for small vote differences, 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 completion of the recount. The complaint 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."

SECTION 3. 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, 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 [, and]; provided that in the event of an automatic recount for small vote differences, 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 after completion of the recount. The complaint 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 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.