By Edwin Boyette | December 1, 2020
Over the past few weeks I have seen dozens if not hundreds of people express concern about election security in Hawaii. Many people have express their desire to see the ballots and voter list audited.
The number one question “Was Dominion used in Hawaii?”, no it wasn’t. Hawaii uses Hart InterCivic voting machines, optical scanners and tabulators. Hawaii’s tabulation computers were not connected to the internet. The voting logic and the vote count was pre-checked by Hawaii Republican Party witnesses and confirmed to be zeroed out. After the election approximately 25 precincts were randomly selected in front of Republican witnesses. The ballot boxes were then brought in front of Republican witnesses unsealed and recounted by hand in front of the witnesses, approximately 50,000 ballots were recounted. The hand count of the ballots and voting machine records all matched the machine count within 2-4 votes per precinct. From comparison to historical voting patterns and the audit the State Office of Elections appears to have done a fair job of accurately counting and tabulating Hawaii’s votes.
These are unique times and the blatant violations of election law in the mainland are alarming to everyone who values free and fair and elections – so the recount of randomly selected Precincts may not satisfy your skepticism – and you still would like to see a 100% audit performed.
The question then becomes how do you get an audit in Hawaii?
Like every reasonable and educated person we start with the source the United States Constitution. Article I Section 4 of the US Constitution makes it clear that the conduct of elections is the responsibility of the State Legislature:
” The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.”
Next being responsible Citizens of Hawaii we check with the Hawaii Constitution to see if any additional constraints or limitations are enumerated Article II Section 4:
“The legislature shall provide for the registration of voters and for absentee voting and shall prescribe the method of voting at all elections. Secrecy of voting shall be preserved; provided that no person shall be required to declare a party preference or non-partisanship as a condition of voting in any primary or special primary election. Secrecy of voting and choice of political party affiliation or non-partisanship shall be preserved. [Am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]”
So the Hawaii Constitution informs us again that the Hawaii State Legislature has the responsibility to make the rules about the conduct of elections. From other careful reading it appears that neither the Governor of Hawaii nor the Hawaii Supreme Court can unilaterally order an Audit. The Hawaii Supreme Court can rule that an election is invalid because of some substantial breach. Knowing that the Legislature is the mechanism we go to Hawaii State Law – also known as the Hawaii Revised Statutes – in this case 2019 Hawaii Revised Statutes TITLE 2. Elections 11. Elections Generally. Searching through the Statute we find provisions for a recount, and contesting the elections for cause – what is not present is a method to initiate a 100% audit. We also know that in general the State can only spend money that is allocated or when specific criteria have been met. There is no provision for it in the Statute or the Office of Elections Rules or Budget – so that means the Hawaii State Legislature would have to pass a resolution or specific bill ordering an audit and appropriating the funds to cover the cost, and have that approved by the Governor.
To initiate that process a coordinated effort would have to be made to lobby at least 26 Hawaii State House Representatives – that is a simple majority of the House. State Representatives are the best choice in this scenario because they are the most directly representative elected officials – they each answer to the least number of voters and correspondingly relatively fewer voters can prompt them to take action. The organization and coordination for this would need to be performed at a District Level. Representatives primarily respond to voters in their OWN DISTRICTS. For voters who are sincerely interested in getting a recount in Hawaii they should contact their Republican District Chairs and County Chairs and commit organizing and coordinating other Republicans in their Districts.
To summarize their appears to be no authority by which the Governor or Judicial Branch can order an audit, that leaves the Legislative Branch and the most viable way that can be achieved is by lobbying the individual Hawaii State Representatives through coordinated action.