Hawaii Legislative Candidate Residency Requirements, Question 1 (2002)

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Hawaii Question 1, also known as Legislative Candidate Residency Requirements, was on the November 7, 2002 election ballot in Hawaii. It passed, with 83.9% of voters in favor.

Election results

Hawaii Question 1
Approveda Yes 42,506 84.4%

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

At present, while every candidate for the state legislature must be a qualified voter (and therefore a resident) of the district in which the candidate is seeking election, there is no time limit by when that candidate must become a resident. Theoretically, a candidate could do so on the day of the general election.

It is relatively common for potential politicians to consider entering various House and Senate races in districts they do not reside if there is no incumbent. Under present law, a candidate could run in a primary from outside the district, win the primary over candidates who are residents, but not actually commit to moving into the district until the day of the general election.

Under the proposed amendment a candidate for state senate or house of representatives must be a qualified voter, and therefore a resident, of his or her district before filing their nomination papers. Nomination papers can be filed any time between the first working day of February of the election year and sixty days before the primary. As the general election must be held not earlier than 45 days after the primary, a candidate who files at the earliest opportunity would be a resident of the district approximately nine months prior to the election, and a candidate who files at the latest possible opportunity would be a resident at least 105 days, or over three months, prior to the election.

Because district boundaries often change after reapportionment, the amendment also allows incumbent legislators to move to a new district before the first primary election after reapportionment and still be able to keep their current seats (otherwise they would be disqualified for moving out of the district).

This proposed amendment would not affect senate and representative candidates for Congress.

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