H.B. NO.



S.D. 2
















SECTION 1. Section 17-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"17-2 United States representative. (a) When a vacancy occurs in the representation of this State in the United States House of Representatives, the chief election officer shall issue a proclamation, not later than fourteen days after the vacancy occurs, for an election to fill the vacancy[.] by special election to be conducted by ranked choice voting. The proclamation shall be issued not later than on the sixtieth day prior to the election to fill the vacancy and shall contain the date, time, and places where the special election is to be held, the time within which nomination papers shall be filed, the time for transmitting to county clerks the notice designating the offices for which candidates are to be elected, the time for transmitting to county clerks lists of candidates to be voted for at the special election, a statement that votes shall be cast and tabulated using ranked choice voting and include an explanation of ranked choice voting, and [such] any other matter as provided for in section 11-91 [and which] that are not inconsistent with this section. The special election shall be conducted and the results ascertained so far as practicable, in accordance with this title.

(b) The following procedures shall be used to determine the winner of the special election conducted by ranked choice voting:

(1) Tabulation of votes shall proceed in rounds;

(2) In each round, the number of votes for each continuing candidate shall be counted, with each continuing ballot counting as one vote for its highest-ranked continuing candidate for that round;

(3) Inactive ballots shall not be counted for any continuing candidate; and

(4) The round shall end with one of two potential outcomes:

(A) If there are two or fewer continuing candidates, the candidate with the most votes is declared the winner of the election; or

(B) If there are more than two continuing candidates, the last-place candidate is defeated and a new round begins.

A tie under this section between candidates for the most votes in the final round or a tie between last-place candidates in any round shall be decided by lot, and the candidate chosen by lot shall be defeated. The office of elections may modify a ranked-choice voting ballot and tabulation; provided that the number of allowable rankings may be limited to no fewer than six and two or more candidates may be defeated simultaneously by batch elimination in any round of tabulation.

(c) For the purposes of this section:

"Batch elimination" means the simultaneous defeat of multiple candidates for whom it is mathematically impossible to be elected.

"Continuing ballot" means a ballot that is not an inactive ballot.

"Highest continuing ranking" means the highest ranking on a voter's ballot for a continuing candidate.

"Inactive ballot" means a ballot that does not rank any continuing candidate, contains an overvote at the highest continuing ranking, or contains two or more sequential skipped rankings before its highest continuing ranking.

"Last-place candidate" means the candidate with the fewest votes in a round of ranked-choice voting tabulation.

"Mathematically impossible to be elected", with respect to a candidate, means that:

(1) The candidate cannot be elected because the candidate's vote total in a round of the ranked-choice voting tabulation plus all votes that could possibly be transferred to the candidate in future rounds from candidates with fewer votes or an equal number of votes would not be enough to surpass the candidate with the next-higher vote total in the round; or

(2) The candidate has a lower vote total than a candidate described in paragraph (1).

"Overvote" means a circumstance in which a voter has ranked more than one candidate at the same ranking.

"Ranked choice voting" means the method of casting and tabulating votes in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, tabulation proceeds in sequential rounds in which last-place candidates are defeated, and the candidate with the most votes in the final round is elected.

"Ranking" means the number assigned on a ballot by a voter to a candidate to express the voter's preference for that candidate, in which number one is the highest ranking, number two is the next-highest ranking, and so on.

"Round" means an instance of the sequence of voting tabulation steps established in subsection (b).

"Skipped ranking" means a circumstance in which a voter has left a ranking blank and ranks a candidate at a subsequent ranking."

SECTION 2. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


Report Title:

Elections; Vacancies; United States Representatives; Ranked Choice Voting



Requires vacancies in the office of United States Representative to be filled by special election that is conducted using ranked choice voting. (SD2)




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