CANDIDATE FILING PROCESS
The candidate filing process enables qualified individuals to have their names appear on the Primary Election ballot or Special Election ballot. Candidates may run as nonpartisan or as a member of a qualified political party.
All candidates must file a nomination paper in order for their name to be printed upon any official ballot. HRS §12-3. To obtain a nomination paper, candidates must first complete an Application for a Nomination Paper.
Nomination papers are available from the first working day of February in every even numbered year, Monday, February 1, 2016. HRS §12-2.5. Nomination papers must be filed not later than 4:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday in June, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. HRS §12-6.
Nomination papers may be obtained at the following locations:
· Candidates for federal offices - Office of Elections, County of Hawaii Clerk’s Office, County of Maui Clerk’s Office, and County of Kauai Clerk’s Office.
· Candidates for state offices - Office of Elections, County of Hawaii Clerk’s Office, County of Maui Clerk’s Office, and County of Kauai Clerk’s Office.
· Candidates for county offices - Your respective City/County Clerk’s Office.
A nomination paper must be signed by a specified number of properly registered voters who are qualified to vote for the candidate in the upcoming election.
Minimum number of valid signatures required for:
· United States Senator, United States Representative, Governor, and Lieutenant Governor are not less than twenty-five (25) valid signatures of qualified voters. HRS §12-5.
· State Senator, State Representative, Mayor, Council Member, and Prosecuting Attorney are not less than fifteen (15) valid signatures of qualified voters. HRS §12-5(b).
· Office of Hawaiian Affairs is not less than twenty-five (25) valid signatures of qualified voters. HRS §12-5(c).
For a signature to be valid, the individual signing the nomination paper:
· Must live and be properly registered to vote in the district from which the candidate seeks election;
· May sign a nomination paper for only one candidate for a particular elective office if there is only one seat available, however if more than one seat is available the individual may sign as many nomination papers as there are seats to be filled; and
· Must include the last four digits of his/her social security number, name, signature, date of birth, and residence address (a mailing address is not acceptable). HRS §§12-3 and 12-4.
Candidates are advised to file their nomination paper early and to obtain more signatures than required in anticipation of invalid or unqualified signatories. Once a nomination paper is filed, candidates will not be allowed to add more signatures.
At the time of filing, candidates must designate the name they want to appear on the ballot, including Hawaiian and/or English equivalents or nicknames. Candidates are allowed a maximum of twenty-seven (27) typed spaces on the ballot for their name. The twenty-seven (27) spaces include all letters, spaces, and punctuation marks. Titles are not permitted as part of a candidate's ballot name. Ballot names will be in the format prescribed by the Office of Elections to ensure consistency and equality.
Candidates verify and confirm the correct spelling of their ballot name at the time of filing. Once a nomination paper is filed, no changes to designated ballot names are allowed except for changes made by the Office of Elections to ensure consistency and equality.
There shall be deposited with each nomination paper a filing fee. Filing fees vary depending on office sought.
Candidates filing at the Office of Elections or the City/County of Honolulu Clerk’s Office must pay their filing fee by cash, money order, or certified cashier’s check. Candidates filing at the County of Hawaii, County of Maui, and County of Kauai Clerk’s Office must pay their filing fee by money order or certified cashier’s check. Personal or campaign checks are not accepted.
Candidates for state and county offices who agree to abide by the state’s voluntary campaign expenditure limits may receive a discounted filing fee. Candidates on Oahu need to file the Affidavit to Voluntarily Agree with Campaign Expenditure Limits with the Campaign Spending Commission. Candidates who are in the County of Hawaii, County of Maui, and County of Kauai need to file their affidavit with their respective County Clerk’s Office. The affidavit needs to be filed before filing a nomination paper.
Filing fee required for:
· United States Senator and United States Representative is $75. HRS §12-6.
· Governor and Lieutenant Governor is $750 and the discounted filing fee is $75. HRS §12-6.
· Mayor is $500 and the discounted filing fee is $50. HRS §12-6.
· All other offices is $250 and the discounted filing fee is $25. HRS §12-6.
Candidates who have filed the Affidavit to Voluntarily Agree with Campaign Expenditure Limits must not exceed their expenditure limits. Candidates who exceed their expenditure limits must notify the Campaign Spending Commission, Office of Elections, contributors, and opponents. They must also pay the full filing fee. Candidates need to contact the Campaign Spending Commission as soon as they exceed their expenditure limits.
Candidates who declare themselves indigent may have the filing fee waived. Indigent candidates need to complete and file a nomination paper, Affidavit to Establish Indigence of Candidate, and Petition to Place the Name of an Indigent Candidate on the State of Hawaii Primary or Special Election Ballot. The petition needs to be signed by currently registered voters who constitute at least one-half of one percent (1/2%) of the total voters registered at the last preceding general election in the district from which the candidate seeks election. HRS §12-6.
The deadline to file a nomination paper is: Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 4:30 p.m.
All candidates are advised to file their nomination paper early. State law prohibits exceptions or extension to the filing deadlines.
When filing a nomination paper, all candidates must certify, by self-subscribing oath, that they:
· Will qualify under the law for the office they are seeking;
· Have determined all of the information on their nomination paper, except for the information provided by registered voters who signed the nomination paper, are true and correct; and
· Are in compliance with §831-2, HRS, dealing with felons.
Partisan candidates are required to certify, by self-subscribing oath, that they are a member of a qualified political party in Hawaii. Candidates who are not a member of a political party but certify they are may be challenged and disqualified.
County Candidates are required to certify, by self-subscribing oath, that they have complied with the relevant provisions of the applicable county charter and county ordinances pertaining to elected officials.
All candidates are required to provide a notarized written oath or affirmation. The oath or affirmation statement is on the nomination paper. HRS §12-7. Candidates must provide the notary public with an identification card, such as a driver license or state ID, containing a picture and signature.
Certain elected state or county public officials must resign from the office currently held before being eligible as a candidate for another state or county elective office. This applies only if the term of the office presently held is not normally scheduled for election in the same year as the office sought. Candidates must resign from office before filing their nomination paper and must certify, by self-subscribing oath, that they have complied with Hawaii State Constitution, Article II, Section 7.
Candidates may withdraw in writing not later than 4:30 p.m. on the day immediately following the close of filing for any reason. HRS §11-117.
For reasons of ill health, candidates may withdraw in writing not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fiftieth day prior to an election. The notice shall be accompanied by a statement from a licensed physician or physician assistant indicating that such ill health may endanger the candidate’s life. HRS §11-117.
Objection or challenge of a candidate may be made by a registered voter, an officer of a political party whose name is on file with the Chief Election Officer, the Chief Election Officer, or the County Clerk in the case of a county election. HRS §12-8.
All objections must be filed in writing by 4:30 p.m. on the sixtieth day or the next earliest working day prior to the primary or special election. The deadline to file a candidate objection for the 2016 elections is, Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 4:30 p.m. Please refer to the Candidate Objections factsheet for more information.
In addition to filing a nomination paper, candidates are required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission for federal races, Campaign Spending Commission for state and county races, State Ethics Commission for state races, and County Board of Ethics for county races. Please contact the appropriate agency for more information on fulfilling these requirements.
Federal Election Commission
999 East Street, North West
Washington, D.C. 20463
Phone: (800) 424-9530
Campaign Spending Commission
235 South Beretania Street, Room 300
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-0285
Hawaii State Ethics Commission
1001 Bishop Street, Suite 970
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 587-0460
County of Hawaii, Board of Ethics
Phone: (808) 961-8251
County of Maui, Board of Ethics
Phone: (808) 270-7742
County of Kauai, Board of Ethics
Phone: (808) 241-4919
City & County of Honolulu, Board of Ethics
Phone: (808) 768-7786
This FACTSHEET is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as an authority on Hawaii election law. Requirements and/or deadlines may change. Consult the Hawaii Revised Statutes and other sources for more detailed requirements.
Office of Elections
802 Lehua Avenue
Pearl City, Hawaii 96782
Phone: (808) 453-VOTE (8683)
Neighbor Island Toll Free: 1-800-442-VOTE (8683)
TTY: (808) 453-6150
Office of Elections - FSBO112S