The Hawaii State Constitution may only be amended through a constitutional convention or the legislature proposing constitutional amendments which are then submitted to the electorate for its consideration and approval. Article XVII. Additionally, all laws must go through the legislative process and be presented to the Governor for approval, subject to the constitutional provisions regarding veto, reconsideration by the Legislature, and override of vetoes. Article III, Sections 14-17.


The Hawaii State Constitution does not provide for an initiative process by which citizens draft a proposed law and meet certain petition requirements to place the proposed law on the ballot. The various counties each have their own charter, the language of which controls the manner in which the charter may be amended, or by which laws may be proposed. As such, the manner in which Hawaii State Constitution may be amended or by which laws may be passed does not necessarily reflect the manner in which the counties may address similar matters. Any questions regarding such matters should be directed to the county clerk for appropriate information.


County of Hawaii 961-8277

County of Maui 270-7749

County of Kauai 241-4800

City & County of Honolulu 768-3800









Section 1. Revisions of or amendments to this constitution may be proposed by constitutional convention or by the legislature. (Ren Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978)




Section 2. The legislature may submit to the electorate at any general or special

election the question, "Shall there be a convention to propose a revision of or amendments to the Constitution?" If any nine-year period shall elapse during which the question shall not have been submitted, the lieutenant governor shall certify the question, to be voted on at the first general election following the expiration of such period.




If a majority of the ballots cast upon such a question be in the affirmative, delegates to the convention shall be chosen at the next regular election unless the legislature shall provide for the election of delegates at a special election.


Notwithstanding any provision in this constitution to the contrary, other than Section 3 of Article XVI, any qualified voter of the district concerned shall be eligible to membership in the convention.


The legislature shall provide for the number of delegates to the convention, the areas from which they shall be elected and the manner in which the convention shall convene. The legislature shall also provide for the necessary facilities and equipment for the convention. The convention shall have the same powers and privileges, as nearly as practicable, as provided for the convention of 1978.




The constitutional convention shall convene not less than five months prior to the next regularly scheduled general election.




The convention shall determine its own organization and rules of procedure. It shall be the sole judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its members and, by a two-thirds vote, may suspend or remove any member for cause. The governor shall fill any vacancy by appointment of a qualified voter from the district concerned.




The convention shall provide for the time and manner in which the proposed constitutional revision or amendments shall be submitted to a vote of the electorate; provided that each amendment shall be submitted in the form of a question embracing but one subject; and provided further, that each question shall have designated spaces to mark YES or NO on the amendment.


At least thirty days prior to the submission of any proposed revision or amendments, the convention shall make available for public inspection, a full text of the proposed amendments. Every public library, office of the clerk of each county, and the chief election officer shall be provided such texts and shall make them available for public inspection. The full text of any proposed revision or amendments shall also be made available for inspection at every polling place on the day of the election at which such revision or amendments are submitted.


The convention shall, as provided by law, be responsible for a program of voter education concerning each proposed revision or amendment to be submitted to the electorate.


The revision or amendments shall be effective only if approved at a general election by a majority of all the votes tallied upon the question, this majority constituting at least fifty per cent of the total vote cast at the election, or at a special election by a majority of all the votes tallied upon the question, this majority constituting at least thirty per cent of the total number of registered voters.


The provisions of this section shall be self-executing, but the legislature shall make the necessary appropriations and may enact legislation to facilitate their operation. (Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978; am SB 578 (1979) and SB 1703 (1980) and election Nov 4, 1980)




Section 3. The legislature may propose amendments to the constitution by adopting the same, in the manner required for legislation, by a two-thirds vote of each house on final reading at any session, after either or both houses shall have given the governor at least ten days' written notice of the final form of the proposed amendment, or, with or without such notice, by a majority vote of each house on final reading at each of two successive sessions.


Upon such adoption, the proposed amendments shall be entered upon the journals, with the ayes and noes, and published once in each of four successive weeks in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each senatorial district wherein such a newspaper is published, within the two months' period immediately preceding the next general election.


At such general election the proposed amendments shall be submitted to the electorate for approval or rejection upon a separate ballot.


The conditions of and requirements for ratification of such proposed amendments shall be the same as provided in section 2 of this article for ratification at a general election. (Ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978)

This Factsheet is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as an authority on the Hawaii election law and deadlines. Requirements and/or deadlines may change pending changes in legislation. Consult the Hawaii Revised Statutes and other sources for more detailed and accurate 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)

Internet: www.hawaii.gov/elections

Office of Elections FSBO132E

Rev. 04/23/13