Report Title:

Reservists and National Guardsmen; Nomination papers and oaths

Description:

Allows active-duty reservists and National Guardsmen who desire to run for office to file nomination papers and take their oaths by mail.

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2361

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to the military.

 

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

SECTION 1. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, continue to have repercussions today. Thousands of military service members and their families are grappling with the news about upcoming deployments to dangerous, volatile, and unstable areas of the world, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, many of those who have already completed one tour of duty face re-deployment in what the United States Department of Defense describes as the largest series of troop rotations since World War II. For instance, around eighty-five thousand regular, United States reserves, and national guard troops will be deployed to Iraq. Such a massive mobilization and deployment of U.S. forces has not left Hawaii untouched.

Furthermore, four thousand five hundred soldiers from the 25th infantry division (light) based at Schofield Barracks have been ordered to deploy to Iraq by February 2004. In addition, the division is sending three thousand five hundred soldiers to Afghanistan by April 2004. Each of the missions will last at least twelve months--twice as long as previous deployments.

The assigned strength of the Hawaii national guard stands at approximately five thousand five hundred. Since September 11, 2001, more than one thousand two hundred national guard members have been activated, though not necessarily deployed overseas. More than four hundred national guard members have been deployed to areas like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Around two thousand five hundred Army reservists are based in Hawaii. About three hundred ninety of the reservists with the 411th engineer battalion recently received notice that they would likely be mobilized for duty in Iraq. It would be the first deployment for the five hundred forty-soldier battalion, which also contains companies in Alaska and Guam, since World War II.

Many guardsmen and United States reserve troops are presently serving in Iraq. Nationwide, there are approximately two hundred thousand reservists, about sixty thousand of whom have been called up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even beyond the sheer numbers, however, the effects of the call-up of national guard and reserve forces are substantial. Although national guardsmen and reservists recognize their duty and are willing to serve their nation, the disruption to their personal and professional lives cannot be denied. Individuals from all walks of life--from college students and engineers to physicians and public servants--are plucked from their daily routines and sent overseas under hostile conditions.

As a beneficiary of their courageous and dedicated service, the State bears a special responsibility toward United States forces, particularly its citizen-soldiers in the reserves and national guard. Among such citizen-soldiers are also individuals who hold or desire to hold elected office in state government.

The purpose of this Act is to alleviate as much as practicable the burden on citizen-soldiers in the reserves and national guard as they serve and protect the nation against its enemies. Such patriotic men and women deserve the support of the State.

SECTION 2. Section 12-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"12-3 Nomination paper; format; limitations. (a) No candidate's name shall be printed upon any official ballot to be used at any primary, special primary, or special election unless a nomination paper was filed in the candidate's behalf and in the name by which the candidate is commonly known. The nomination paper shall be in a form prescribed and provided by the chief election officer containing substantially the following information:

(1) A statement by the registered voters signing the form that they are eligible to vote for the candidate;

(2) A statement by the registered voters signing the form that they nominate the candidate for the office identified on the nomination paper issued to the candidate;

(3) The residence address and county in which the candidate resides;

(4) The legal name of the candidate, the name by which the candidate is commonly known, if different, the office for which the candidate is running, and the candidate's party affiliation or nonpartisanship; all of which are to be placed on the nomination paper by the chief election officer or the clerk prior to releasing the form to the candidate;

(5) Space for the name, signature, date of birth, social security number, and residence address of each registered voter signing the form, and other information as determined by the chief election officer;

(6) A sworn certification by self-subscribing oath by the candidate that the candidate qualifies under the law for the office the candidate is seeking and that the candidate has determined that, except for the information provided by the registered voters signing the nomination papers, all of the information on the nomination papers is true and correct;

(7) A sworn certification by self-subscribing oath by a party candidate that the candidate is a member of the party;

(8) A sworn certification by self-subscribing oath, where applicable, by the candidate that the candidate has complied with the provisions of article II, section 7, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii;

(9) A sworn certification by self-subscribing oath by the candidate that the candidate is in compliance with section 831-2, dealing with felons, and is eligible to run for office; and

(10) The name the candidate wishes printed on the ballot and the mailing address of the candidate.

(b) Signatures of registered voters shall not be counted, unless they are upon the nomination paper having the format set forth above, written or printed thereon, and if there are separate sheets to be attached to the nomination paper, the sheets shall have the name of the candidate, the candidate's party affiliation or nonpartisanship, and the office and district for which the candidate is running placed thereon by the chief election officer or the clerk. The nomination paper and separate sheets shall be provided by the chief election officer or the clerk.

(c) Nomination papers shall not be filed in behalf of any person for more than one party or for more than one office; nor shall any person file nomination papers both as a party candidate and as a nonpartisan candidate.

(d) The office and district for which the candidate is running, the candidate's name, and the candidate's party affiliation or nonpartisanship may not be changed from that indicated on the nomination paper and separate sheets. If the candidate wishes to run for an office or district different from that for which the nomination paper states or under a different party affiliation or nonpartisanship, the candidate may request the appropriate nomination paper from the chief election officer or clerk and have it signed by the required number of registered voters.

(e) Nomination papers that contain alterations or changes made by anyone other than the chief election officer or the clerk to the candidate's information, the candidate's party affiliation or nonpartisanship, the office to which the candidate seeks nomination, or the oath of loyalty or affirmation, after the nomination paper was issued by the chief election officer or clerk, shall be void and will not be accepted for filing by the chief election officer or clerk.

(f) Nomination papers [which] that are incomplete and do not contain all of the certifications, signatures, and requirements of this section shall be void and will not be accepted for filing by the chief election officer or clerk.

(g) Members of the reserves or national guard called to active service shall be permitted to fulfill the requirements of this section by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested."

SECTION 3. Section 12-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"12-6 Nomination papers: time for filing; fees. (a) Nomination papers shall be filed as follows:

(1) For members of Congress, state, and county offices, nomination papers shall be filed with the chief election officer, or clerk in case of county offices, not later than 4:30 p.m. on the sixtieth calendar day prior to the primary, special primary, or special election provided that if such day is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday then not later than 4:30 p.m. on the first working day immediately preceding. A state candidate from the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai may file the declaration of candidacy with the respective clerk. The clerk shall transmit to the office of the chief election officer the state candidate's declaration of candidacy without delay. However, if a special primary or special election is to be held by a county and the county charter requires that the council shall issue a proclamation calling for the election to be held within a specified period of time, and if that requirement would not allow the filing of nomination papers with the appropriate office by the sixtieth calendar day prior to the day for holding the special primary or special election, the council shall establish the deadline for the filing of nomination papers in the proclamation calling for the election; and

(2) For the board of trustees for the office of Hawaiian affairs, nomination papers shall be filed with the chief election officer, not later than 4:30 p.m. on the sixtieth calendar day prior to the primary election referred to in paragraph (1); provided that if that day is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, then not later than 4:30 p.m. on the first working day immediately preceding.

[[](b)[]] If after the close of filing, there are no candidates who have filed nomination papers for an elective office for the primary, special primary, or any special election held in conjunction with the primary election, the chief election officer or clerk, in the case of a county election, shall accept nomination papers for that office not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fiftieth day prior to the primary, special primary, or special election.

[[](c)[]] There shall be deposited with each nomination paper a filing fee on account of the expenses attending the holding of the primary, special primary, or special election [which] that shall be paid into the treasury of the State, or county, as the case may be, as a realization:

(1) For United States senators and United States representatives--$75;

(2) For governor and lieutenant governor--$750;

(3) For mayor--$500; and

(4) For all other offices--$250.

[[](d)[]] Upon the receipt by the chief election officer or the clerk of the nomination paper of a candidate, the day, hour, and minute when it was received shall be endorsed thereon.

[[](e)[]] Upon the showing of a certified copy of an affidavit [which] that has been filed with the campaign spending commission pursuant to section 11-208 by a candidate who has voluntarily agreed to abide by spending limits, the chief election officer or clerk shall discount the filing fee of the candidate by the following amounts:

(1) For the office of governor and lieutenant governor--$675;

(2) For the office of mayor--$450; and

(3) For all other offices--$225.

[[](f)[]] The chief election officer or clerk shall waive the filing fee in the case of a person who declares, by affidavit, that the person is indigent and who has filed a petition signed by currently registered voters who constitute at least one-half of one per cent of the total voters registered at the last preceding general election in the respective district or districts [which] that correspond to the specific office for which the indigent person is a candidate. This petition shall be submitted on the form prescribed and provided by the chief election officer together with the nomination paper required by this chapter.

(g) Members of the reserves or national guard called to active service shall be permitted to fulfill the requirements of this section by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested."

SECTION 4. Section 12-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"12-7 Filing of oath. (a) The name of no candidate for any office shall be printed upon any official ballot, in any election, unless the candidate shall have taken and subscribed to the following written oath or affirmation, and filed the oath with the candidate's nomination papers.

The written oath or affirmation shall be in the following form:

"I,..............., do solemnly swear and declare, on oath that if elected to office I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and the Constitution and laws of the State of Hawaii, and will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that if elected I will faithfully discharge my duties as.....(name of office)...............to the best of my ability; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; So help me God."

Upon being satisfied as to the sincerity of any person claiming that the person is unwilling to take the above prescribed oath only because the person is unwilling to be sworn, the person may be permitted, in lieu of the oath, to make the person's solemn affirmation which shall be in the same form as the oath except that the words "sincerely and truly affirm" shall be substituted for the word "swear" and the phrases "on oath" and "So help me God" shall be omitted. Such affirmation shall be of the same force and effect as the prescribed oath.

The oath or affirmation shall be subscribed before the officer administering the same, who shall endorse thereon the fact that the oath was subscribed and sworn to or the affirmation was made together with the date thereof and affix the seal of the officer's office or of the court of which the officer is a judge or clerk.

It shall be the duty of every notary public or other public officer by law authorized to administer oaths to administer the oath or affirmation prescribed by this section and to furnish the required endorsement and authentication.

(b) Members of the reserves or national guard called to active service shall be permitted to fulfill the requirements of this section by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested."

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; provided that section 3 shall take effect on July 1, 2004.

INTRODUCED BY:

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