Hawaii

Audit Laws

Audit Laws

State Summary

Hawaii Rev. Stat. §16-42 requires a “pre-certification audit of a random sample of not less than 10% of the precincts employing the electronic voting system.” The audit can be expanded if discrepancies are found, and is to be completed prior to certification, to the extent possible.

Hawaii became primarily a vote-by-mail state in 2020, but according to guidance from the State Office of Elections, “The electronic voting system includes the paper ballot produced for elections by mail, as such the same statutes and rule apply” to audits.

Specific procedures pertaining to audits in Hawaii are contained in the Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 3, Department of Accounting and General Services, Office of Elections.

Voting Systems Used

As of 2020, Hawaii primarily uses hand marked paper ballots and optical scanners in polling places, with DRE voting machines with VVPAT paper records for accessibility. For the most up to date information please visit Verified Voting’s Verifier.

For an explanation on the types of voting equipment used, click here.

Audit Comprehensiveness

The audit includes both paper ballots (mail) and VVPAT produced by DREs. (Statute is silent as to whether any ballots originally counted by hand are subject to audit.) The chief election officer or the clerk shall conduct an audit of a random sample of the precincts employing the electronic voting system, to verify that the electronic tallies generated by the system in those precincts equal hand tallies of the paper ballots generated by the system in those precincts. The audit is conducted using a random selection of at least 10% of the total precincts, at least one (1) large precinct and at least one (1) small precinct, and at least one (1) precinct with a statewide, a countywide, or a districtwide contest.

Transparency

The audit process is not open to the public more broadly. According to the election rules, “no person shall be permitted to witness the audit” without prior authorization. See, Haw. Admin Rules 3-177-762(a)(2). However, according to Haw. Admin Rules 3-177-762(a)(3), observers “may request to conduct a manual audit.” While this process is not defined further in the rules, we take this to mean that observers may verify marks on the ballots. Results of the audit are also filed with the office of the chief election officer, though it is unclear whether the results are posted publicly or not.

Audit Counting Method

The audit is conducted manually.

Type Of Audit Units

Precincts are randomly sampled and hand-counted.

Contests & Issues Audited

The audit is conducted using a random selection of at least 10% of the total precincts, at least one (1) large precinct and at leas one (1) small precinct, and at least one (1) precinct with a statewide, a countywide, or a districtwide contest. Reasonable permutations of these requirements are allowed for counties with fewer than thirty (30) precincts.

Addressing Discrepancies

If discrepancies are found, the chief election officer may expand the audit “to determine the extent of misreporting within the system.” The results are to be filed with the office of elections.

For recount laws, see Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota website.

Timeline

Audits are conducted after the election and before certification, to the extent possible.

Binding On Official Outcomes

Audit results are binding upon official results. Per the rules, “Election officials and counting center officials shall certify the conduct and results of the manual audit.”

Oversight & Conduct

The chief election officer or clerk conducts (oversees) the audit with the assistant of election officials and/or counting center officials. “The chief election officer or designated representative shall maintain a complete count of…ballots. All ballots shall be safeguarded to prevent mishandling or misuse.”

Ballot Protection

Containers used to store or transport ballots shall include a non-reusable seal. A record is to be maintained to list the seals used. If a container is opened, witnesses’ signatures are to be provided.

Additional Targeted Samples

Statute does not provide for targeted samples.

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