HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

597

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to elections.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that many elections in Hawaii are subjected to scrutiny and in the best interest of public trust, there should be a system to ensure that the outcome of the election is correct and transparent.

The purpose of this Act is to require a mandatory manual recount of ballots when the margin of victory is equal to or less than one-half of one per cent of the ballots cast.

SECTION 2. Chapter 11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part X to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"11-   Mandatory manual recount of ballots. (a) The chief election officer, or the clerk in the case of county elections, shall conduct a manual recount of all ballots cast for any office at any election if the official canvass of all of the returns for that office reveals that the difference in the number of ballots cast for a candidate apparently qualified for the general election ballot or elected to office and the number of ballots cast for the closest apparently defeated opponent is equal to or less than one-half of one per cent of the total number of the ballots cast for the contest.

(b) No cost of a mandatory manual recount under this section may be charged to any candidate.

(c) All mandatory manual recounts of ballots conducted by hand under this section shall be completed and the results publicly announced no later than the ninth day following the election.

(d) The chief election officer shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 for the mandatory manual recount of ballots under this section; provided that the rules shall:

(1) Authorize candidates affected by the manual recount, or their designated representatives, to attend and witness the manual recount; and

(2) Require the notification of the parties described in paragraph (1) of the time and place of the manual recount no later than one day prior to the date of the manual recount.

(e) This section shall apply to votes counted pursuant to section 11-151."

SECTION 3. Section 11-155, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"11-155 Certification of results of election. On receipt of certified tabulations from the election officials concerned, the chief election officer or county clerk in county elections shall compile, certify, and release the election results after the expiration of the time for bringing an election contest. The certification shall be based on a comparison and reconciliation of the following:

(1) The results of the canvass of ballots conducted pursuant to chapter 16;

(2) The audit of pollbooks (and related record books) and resultant overage and underage report;

(3) The audit results of the manual audit team;

(4) The results of the absentee ballot reconciliation report compiled by the clerks; [and]

(5) The results of any mandatory manual recount of ballots conducted pursuant to section 11-  ; and

[(5)] (6) All logs, tally sheets, and other documents generated during the election and in the canvass of the election results.

A certificate of election or a certificate of results declaring the results of the election as of election day shall be issued pursuant to section 11-156; provided that in the event of an overage or underage, a list of all precincts in which an overage or underage occurred shall be attached to the certificate. The number of candidates to be elected receiving the highest number of votes in any election district shall be declared to be elected. Unless otherwise provided, the term of office shall begin or end as of the close of polls on election day. The position on the question receiving the appropriate majority of the votes cast shall be reflected in a certificate of results issued pursuant to section 11-156."

SECTION 4. 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 shall be accompanied by a deposit for costs of court as established by rules of the supreme court[.]; provided that a complaint pertaining to ballots subject to a mandatory manual recount pursuant to section 11-   shall be filed no later than 4:30 p.m. on the thirteenth calendar day following the election or the third calendar day following a manual recount, whichever occurs first. 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.] of summons."

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 2019-2020 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 to support a mandatory manual recount of ballots if the margin of victory in any election is equal to or less than one-half of one per cent of the ballots cast.

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

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Elections; Mandatory Manual Recount of Ballots; Margin of Victory; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires a mandatory manual recount of election ballots in any election for any office when the margin of victory is equal to or less than one-half of one per cent of the ballots cast. Makes an appropriation.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.