State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse
Information Related to Hawaiʻi's November 6, 2018 State Constitutional Convention Referendum
The Disputed Majority Required to Call a Convention
Attorney General Opinion
- Calculating a Majority on the Question Calling for a Constitutional Convention, Attorney General Opinion 96-05, November 19, 1996. The author of this report, Russell A. Suzuki, is currently (2018) the Attorney General of Hawaii.
Hawaii Supreme Court
- Haw. State AFL-CIO v. Yoshina, 84 Hawai’i 374, 935 P.2d 89 (1997).
- Bennett v. Yoshina, 140 F.3d 1218, 1221-22 (9th Cir. 1998).
- Bennett v. Yoshina, 98 F.Supp.2d 1139 (2000)
- Bennett v. Yoshina, 259 F.3d 1097 (2001)
*In 2018, Mark Bennett was appointed judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, one of the highest courts in the United States.
Select Cited Cases
- Kahalekai v. Doi, 60 Haw. 324, 590 P.2d 543 (1979). On misleading ballot language on constitutional amendments proposed in 1978.
- City and County of Honolulu v. Ariyoshi, 689 P.2d 757 (Haw. 1984). Cites committee reports from various Hawaii state constitutional conventions.
Implementation Legislation During the 2000 Session
Summary: Specifies that ballots cast includes blank ballots and over votes in a question for a constitutional convention.
Title: A Bill for an Act RELATING TO VOTE COUNT.
Introduced by: Mizuguchi N (BR)
Description: Amends provisions relating to vote count. Provides that each contest or question on a ballot shall be counted independently, if a contest or question requires a majority of the votes for passage, any blank, spoiled or invalid ballot shall not be tallied for passage or as votes cast except that such ballots shall be counted as votes cast in ratification of a constitutional amendment or a question for a constitutional convention. — SB0914
Committee Reports: SSCR 858 (JDC) HSCR 126-00 (JHA) HSCR 1432-00
Apr-14 00 Received by the Governor
Apr-26 00 Approved by Governor (Act 54 2000)
Section Affected: 11-151 ONLY
- Hawaii State Legislature, 2000 Session .Legislative archives portal for the 2000 session.
- BILLS PASSED BY THE HAWAII STATE LEGISLATURE REGULAR SESSION OF 2000. List of bill passed during the 2000 session.
Snider, J.H., State Constitutional Convention Was Hijacked In ’96 — It May Happen Again, Civil Beat, April 30, 2018. A substantially more detailed version of the same op-ed can be found at Con-Con: The People v. Hawaii Supreme Court, Hawai’i Free Press, April 30, 2018.
Yerton, Stewart, If You Don’t Vote On Constitutional Questions, You’ve Just Voted ‘No’, Civil Beat, October 8, 2018.
Ballots Relating to Hawaii Constitutional Conventions
Note that until 1998, the constitutional convention referendum ballot items was placed on a different ballot than candidate ballot items.
- November 4, 2008
- November 3, 1998
- November 5, 1996
- November 4, 1986
- November 7, 1978
- November 7, 1978–Explanation of the voting process accompanying the Nov. 7 ballot.
- November 2, 1976
- November 2, 1976–Overseas ballot excludes state and local questions
- November 5, 1968*
- November 8, 1966*
- November 7, 1950, The Constitution Ratification Ballot
- November 7, 1950, The Candidates Ballot
Not available at either the Hawaii State Archives or Hawaii Board of Elections. The ballot for the 1966 candidates but not constitutional convention referendum question was available.
Data on the Constitutional Convention Election Call in 2008
Elections Results: 1992-2016, State of Hawaii, Office of Elections.
Elections Results, November 4, 2008 (p. 3), State of Hawaii, Office of Elections.
Yes: 152,596 33.5% No: 281,668 61.9% Blanks: 20,796 4.6% Other: 177 0.0%
Elections Results, November 3, 1998 (p. 4), State of Hawaii, Office of Elections.
Yes: 140,688 34.1% No: 244,753 59.3% Blanks: 26,784 6.5% Other: 295 0.1% Elections Results, November 5, 1996 (p. 5), State of Hawaii, Office of Elections.
Yes: 163,869 44.4% No: 160,153 43.4% Blanks: 45,245 12.2% Other: 90 0.0% *Note: Ballotpedia only compares yes to no votes, so marks the 1996 election as a yes. Election Results, November 2, 1976, (p. 25), ICPSR, Hawaii Yes: 199,831 0.0% No: 69,264 0.0% Election Results, November 4, 1986, (p. 48), ICPSR, Hawaii Yes: 137,236 0.0% No: 173,977 0.0%
2008 Office of Elections–General Election Results
2008 Office of Elections–Ballot Information on Convention Referendum
Note: No mention of the extraordinary majority requirement on the ballot.
Fact Sheet: 2008 Constitutional Convention and Constitutional Amendment Questions and City/County Charter Amendments and Initiatives, Hawaii Office of Elections. Accessed October 22, 2008.
Fact Sheet: 2008 Constitutional Amendment and Constitutional Convention Question, Hawaii Office of Elections. Accessed July 3, 2008.
2008 Hawaii Votes: Everything You Need to Know to Cast Your Vote, Hawaii Office of Elections. Accessed October 29, 2008.
Historical Election Laws
Election Laws of Hawaii, 1910, pages 23-4 describe the use of different ballot boxes for voting for state senators and representatives; page 26 describes the handing of multiple ballots to voters; pages 36. 39 describe the separate ballot box for voting for county officers.
The Disputed Majority Required to Ratify an Amendment
Attorney General Opinion 82-7, November 9, 1982.