The Hawaiʻi

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

Hawaii Supreme Court

Federal Courts*

*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


Historical Overview

Snider, J.H., State Constitutional Convention Was Hijacked In ’96 — It May Happen AgainCivil 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 CourtHawai’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.

  1. November 4, 2008
  2. November 3, 1998
  3. November 5, 1996
  4. November 4, 1986
  5. November 7, 1978
  6. November 7, 1978–Explanation of the voting process accompanying the Nov. 7 ballot.
  7. November 2, 1976
  8. November 2, 1976–Overseas ballot excludes state and local questions
  9. November 5, 1968*
  10. November 8, 1966*
  11. November 7, 1950, The Constitution Ratification Ballot
  12. 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

State of Hawaii–Statement of the 2008 Vote–Detailed Report.

State of Hawaii–Statement of the 2008 Vote–Summary Report.

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.



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