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The Constitution
of the
State of Hawaii

Incorporating the November 7, 2006 election changes,
and including the annotation.

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Article II - Suffrage and Elections

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Sections

1Qualifications
2Disqualification
3Residence
4Registration; voting
5Campaign fund, spending limit
6Campaign contributions limits
7Resignation from public office
8General, special and primary elections
9Presidential preference primary
10Contested Elections

2.1
Qualifications

Every citizen of the United States who shall have attained the age of eighteen years, have been a resident of this State not less than one year next preceding the election and be a voter registered as provided by law, shall be qualified to vote in any state or local election.  [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; am SB 41 (1971) and election Nov 7, 1972; am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

Case Notes:

Where plaintiffs filed motion for preliminary injunction regarding Act 359 of 1993 Hawaii legislature (relating to Hawaiian sovereignty), as amended in 1994 and 1996, plaintiffs not likely to prevail on constitutional claims under Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of U.S. Constitution, article I, §5 and this section of Hawaii constitution, or Voting Rights Act with regards to native Hawaiian vote. 941 F. Supp. 1529.

2.2
Disqualification

No person who is non compos mentis shall be qualified to vote. No person convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote except upon the person's final discharge or earlier as provided by law.  [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

Attorney General Opinions:

Effective date of amendment; ratification by voters. Att. Gen. Op. 69-2.

"Final discharge" construed. Att. Gen. Op. 69-2.

2.3
Residence

No person shall be deemed to have gained or lost residence simply because of the person's presence or absence while employed in the service of the United States, or while engaged in navigation or while a student at any institution of learning.  [Am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

2.4
Registration; voting

The legislature shall provide for the registration of voters and for absentee voting and shall prescribe the method of voting at all elections. Secrecy of voting shall be preserved; provided that no person shall be required to declare a party preference or nonpartisanship as a condition of voting in any primary or special primary election. Secrecy of voting and choice of political party affiliation or nonpartisanship shall be preserved.  [Am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

Cross References:

Absentee voting, see chapter 15.

Registration, see chapter 11, pt II.

Voting methods, see chapter 16.

Attorney General Opinions:

Referred to in passing on method of voting by absentee ballot. Att. Gen. Op. 68-8.

2.5
Campaign fund, spending limit

The legislature shall establish a campaign fund to be used for partial public financing of campaigns for public offices of the State and its political subdivisions, as provided by law. The legislature shall provide a limit on the campaign spending of candidates.  [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

2.6
Campaign contributions limits

Limitations on campaign contributions to any political candidate, or authorized political campaign organization for such candidate, for any elective office within the State shall be provided by law.  [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

2.7
Resignation from public office

Any elected public officer shall resign from that office before being eligible as a candidate for another public office, if the term of the office sought begins before the end of the term of the office held.  [Add Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

Attorney General Opinions:

The "another public office" refers to another elective, not appointive, public office. Att. Gen. Op. 80-2.

Applies to elected state or county officer seeking federal elective office; not self-executing. Att. Gen. Op. 86-4.

Does not require officeholders to resign if their successors would be elected at same election in which officeholders are candidates for other offices. Att. Gen. Op. 86-17.

Members of neighborhood boards are not public officers, therefore section is not applicable to them. Att. Gen. Op. 88-7.

Law Journals and Reviews:

Fasi v. Cayetano: Challenging Hawaii's "Resign-to-Run" Amendment. 13 UH L. Rev. 327.

The Protection of Individual Rights Under Hawai`i's Constitution. 14 UH L. Rev. 311.

Case Notes:

Resign-to-run requirement does not apply to candidates for federal office. 68 H. 564, 722 P.2d 1032.

Under this section, a public officer becomes "eligible as a candidate for another public office" at the time he or she files nomination papers for the second office; therefore, he or she must resign from his or her present office before filing nomination papers for the second office, if the term of the office sought begins before the end of the term of office held. 98 H. 176, 45 P.3d 798.

2.8
General, special and primary elections

General elections shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in all even-numbered years. Special and primary elections may be held as provided by law; provided that in no case shall any primary election precede a general election by less than forty-five days.  [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

Attorney General Opinions:

Special elections as authorized hereunder require specific legislation. Att. Gen. Op. 70-26.

Case Notes:

For special elections to be held, there must be specific legislative authorization. 52 H. 410, 477 P.2d 625.

2.9
Presidential preference primary

A presidential preference primary may be held as provided by law.  [Add Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

2.10
Contested Elections

Contested elections shall be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction in such manner as shall be provided by law.  [Part of §5, ren Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]

Cross References:

Election contests, see chapter 11, pt XI.

Case Notes:

The courts are the final arbiter in election contest for House seat. 51 H. 354, 461 P.2d 221.

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Article II - Suffrage and Elections

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