HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2013
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 15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§15- Voter assistance; prohibitions. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b), any voter who requires assistance in completing an absentee ballot may be assisted by a person of the voter's choice.
(b) The following persons and their agents shall not assist a voter in completing an absentee ballot:
(1) The voter's employer;
(2) The voter's union; and
(3) A candidate for any office that is listed on the absentee ballot.
Any violation of this subsection shall constitute an election fraud as provided under section 19-3(6)."
SECTION 2. Section 11-91.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
§11-91.5[ ]] Federal,
state, and county elections by mail. (a) Any federal, state, or county
election held other than on the date of a regularly scheduled primary or
general election may be conducted by mail.
(b) The chief election officer shall determine whether a federal or state election, other than a regularly scheduled primary or general election, may be conducted by mail or at polling places.
(c) The county clerk shall determine whether a county election, held other than on the date of a regularly scheduled primary or general election, may be conducted by mail or at polling places. An election by mail in the county shall be under the supervision of the county clerk.
(d) All requirements applicable to an absentee ballot under this chapter and chapter 15 shall apply to a ballot issued in an election by mail.
(d)] (e) The chief election
officer shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to provide for uniformity in
the conduct of federal, state, and county elections by mail."
SECTION 3. Section 15-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§15-6 Return envelope, ballot
envelope; instructions. The clerk shall provide the absentee voter with
the ballots, ballot envelopes, and a return envelope [
shall contain a statement to be subscribed to by the voter [ which] that
affirms the fact that the voter is the person voting[ ,] and that the
ballot was completed in secrecy and without influence from another person,
the instruction that the voter's ballot will be valid only if the affirmation
statement is signed, materials summarizing the provisions in sections 19-3,
19-3.5, 19-4, and 19-6, and any other information prescribed by the rules
promulgated by the chief election officer."
SECTION 4. Section 15-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§15-9 Return and receipt of absentee ballots. (a) The return envelope shall be:
(1) Mailed and must be received by the clerk issuing the absentee ballot not later than the closing of the polls on any election day;
(2) Delivered other than by mail to the clerk issuing the absentee ballot, or another election official designated by the clerk to act on the clerk's behalf, not later than the closing of polls on any election day; or
(3) Delivered other than by mail to any polling place within the county in which the voter is registered and deposited by a precinct official in the ballot box before the closing of the polls on any election day.
(b) Upon receipt of the return envelope from any person voting under this chapter, the clerk may prepare the ballots for counting pursuant to this section and section 15-10.
(c) Prior to opening the return and ballot envelopes and counting the ballots, the return envelopes shall be checked for the following:
(1) Signature on the affirmation statement;
(2) Whether the signature corresponds with the absentee request or register as prescribed in the rules adopted by the chief election officer; and
(3) Whether the person is a registered voter and has complied with the requirements of sections 11-15 and 11-16.
(d) If any of the above requirements is not
met or if the return or ballot envelope appears to be tampered with, the clerk
or the absentee ballot team official shall mark across the face of the envelope
"invalid" and it shall be kept in the custody of the clerk and
disposed of as prescribed for ballots in section 11-154[
.], except as
otherwise provided in subsection (e).
(e) Notwithstanding subsection (d), all return envelopes shall be kept in the custody of the clerk for at least the two general elections immediately following the clerk's receipt of the return envelope from the voter and shall be deemed government records, as defined in section 92F-3.
(e)] (f) If an absentee polling
place is established at the clerk's office prior to election day, the officials
of the absentee polling place shall check the return or ballot envelopes for
the above requirements prior to depositing them in the correct absentee ballot
SECTION 5. Section 19-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§19-3 Election frauds. The following persons shall be deemed guilty of an election fraud:
(1) Every person who, directly or indirectly, personally or through another, gives, procures, or lends, or agrees or offers to give, procure, or lend, or who endeavors to procure, any money or office or place of employment or valuable consideration to or for any elector, or to or for any person for an elector, or to or for any person in order to induce any elector to vote or refrain from voting, or to vote or refrain from voting for any particular person or party, or who does any such act on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting for any particular person at any election;
(2) Every person who advances or pays, or causes to be paid, any money to, or to the use of, any other person, with the intent that the money, or any part thereof, shall be expended in bribery at any election, or for any purpose connected with or incidental to any election; or who knowingly pays or causes to be paid any money to any person in the discharge or repayment of any money wholly or partly expended in bribery at any election, or for any purpose connected with or incidental to any election;
(3) Every elector who, before, during, or after any election, directly or indirectly, personally or through another, receives, agrees, or contracts for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration, office, place, or employment for oneself or any other person for voting or agreeing to vote, or for refraining to vote or agreeing to refrain from voting, or for voting or refraining to vote for any particular person or party;
(4) Every person who, directly or indirectly, personally or through another, makes use of, or threatens to make use of, any force, violence, or restraint; or inflicts or threatens to inflict any injury, damage, or loss in any manner, or in any way practices intimidation upon or against any person in order to induce or compel the person to vote or refrain from voting, or to vote or refrain from voting for any particular person or party, at any election, or on account of the person having voted or refrained from voting, or voted or refrained from voting for any particular person or party; or who by abduction, distress, or any device or contrivance impedes, prevents, or otherwise interferes with the free exercise of the elective franchise;
(5) Every person who, at any election, votes or attempts to vote in the name of any other person, living or dead, or in some fictitious name, or who, having once voted, votes or attempts to vote again, or knowingly gives or attempts to give more than one ballot for the same office at one time of voting;
(6) Every person who assists a voter in completing an absentee ballot in violation of section 15- (b);
(6)] (7) Every person who, before or
during an election, knowingly publishes a false statement of the withdrawal of
any candidate at the election;
(7)] (8) Every person who induces or
procures any person to withdraw from being a candidate at an election in
consideration of any payment or gift or valuable consideration; or of any
threat; and every candidate who withdraws from being a candidate in pursuance
of such inducement or procurement;
(8)] (9) Every public officer by law
required to do or perform any act or thing with reference to any of the
provisions in any law concerning elections who wilfully fails, neglects, or
refuses to do or perform the same, or who is guilty of any wilful violation of
any of the provisions thereof;
(9)] (10) Any person wilfully tampering
or attempting to tamper with, disarrange, deface, or impair in any manner
whatsoever, or destroy any voting machine while the same is in use at any
election, or who, after the machine is locked in order to preserve the
registration or record of any election made by the same, tampers or attempts to
tamper with any voting machine; and
(10)] (11) Every person who, directly or
indirectly, personally or through another, wilfully designs, alters, accesses,
or programs any electronic voting system to cause the system to inaccurately
record, tally, or report votes cast on the electronic voting system."
SECTION 6. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2013.
Elections by Mail; Absentee Ballot; Secrecy; Voter Assistance; Election Fraud
Requires absentee voters to affirm by signature that the ballot was completed in secrecy and without influence from others. Requires absentee ballots to include information regarding election fraud, voter fraud, and related penalties. Prohibits employers, unions, and candidates or their agents from assisting voters with completing absentee ballots. Subjects special elections by mail to the same requirements as for absentee ballots.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.