State Rep. Della Au Belatti, who sponsored the bill, noted that while federal elections were not what spurred her personally to push the measure, the initial interest was broader than county elections. "None of the federal elections really spurred me to introduce the bill. I think initially, the bill did address federal elections and maybe all elections, because that's what the community advocates had been pushing for," Belatti said. "We're looking at moving somewhat of a pilot project," said state Rep. Gilbert Keith-Agaran, the chairman of the state House Judiciary Committee. "I don't recall seeing instant runoff being used statewide, and I think that was why when I amended the bill, I amended it to handle local special elections." The bill is driven primarily by crowded local special elections that have produced winners who don't garner anywhere near a majority of the vote. Still, Belatti said that if the new system passes, and is successful, she'd support it for federal special elections. "I would certainly support it, if it seems to work out. I would support it at the federal level," she said. The bill is currently headed for the state Senate.
Bill Could Change Hawaii Special Election Outcomes
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