Candidate Filing

Candidate filing for the 2020 Elections runs from February 3, 2020 through June 2, 2020.

Qualifications for Offices up for Election in 2020

OfficeDistrictsTermQualifications
Federal Offices
President and Vice President Refer to Presidential Elections
U.S. RepresentativeI and II2 years
Jan. 2021 to Jan. 2023
• U.S. citizen for 7 years
• Inhabitant of Hawaii when elected
• At least 25 years of age
State Offices
State Senate2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 22, 252 years*
Nov. 2020 to Nov. 2022
• Resident of Hawaii for not less than 3 years prior to election
• Qualified voter of the appropriate State Senatorial District prior to filing
State Representative1 – 512 years
Nov. 2020 to Nov. 2022
• Resident of Hawaii for not less than 3 years prior to election
• Qualified voter of the appropriate State Representative District prior to filing
Office of Hawaiian Affairs TrusteeHawaii Resident Trustee,
Molokai Resident Trustee,
Kauai Resident Trustee,
At-Large Trustee
4 years
Dec. 2020 to Dec. 2024
• Resident of respective island for seats requiring residence
• Registered voter of Hawaii
County of Hawaii Offices
MayorCounty of Hawaii4 years
Dec. 2020 to Dec. 2024
• Qualified voter of Hawaii County for at least 1 year prior to election
Prosecuting AttorneyCounty of Hawaii4 years
Dec. 2020 to Dec. 2024
• Qualified voter of Hawaii County for at least 1 year prior to election
• Licensed attorney in good standing before the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii
Councilmember1 – 92 years
Dec. 2020 to Dec. 2022
• Resident and registered voter of the Council District at least 90 days prior to primary election
• Qualified voter of Hawaii County for a least 1 year prior to election
County of Maui Offices
CouncilmemberEast Maui,
West Maui, Wailuku-Waihee-
Waikapu,
Kahului,
South Maui,
Makawao-
Haiku-Paia,
Upcountry,
Lanai,
Molokai
2 years
Jan. 2021 to Jan. 2023
• Resident in the area of the county from which the person seeks to be elected for a period of 1 year before filing
• Qualified voter of Maui County
County of Kauai Offices
Prosecuting AttorneyCounty of Kauai4 years
Dec. 2020 to Dec. 2024
• Qualified voter of Kauai County for at least 1 year prior to election
• Licensed attorney in good standing before the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii
• Practiced law for at least 3 years in the State of Hawaii
CouncilmemberCounty of Kauai, 7 seats2 years
Dec. 2020 to Dec. 2022
• Qualified voter of Kauai County at least 2 years prior to election
City and County of Honolulu Offices
MayorCity and County of Honolulu4 years
Jan. 2021 to Jan. 2025
• Qualified voter of the City and County of Honolulu
• At least 30 years of age
Prosecuting AttorneyCity and County of Honolulu4 years
Jan. 2021 to Jan. 2025
• Qualified voter of the City and County of Honolulu
• Licensed attorney in good standing before the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii
• Practiced law for 5 years
• Actively involved in criminal cases for 3 years within 10 years immediately preceding election
CouncilmemberI, III, V, VII, IX4 years
Jan. 2021 to Jan. 2025
• Resident and registered voter of the appropriate Council District

*Due to reapportionment in 2021, all State Senators will be up for election in 2022 pursuant to the Hawaii State Constitution, Article IV, Section 7

Application & Nomination Paper

Candidates must complete and file a nomination paper to appear on the ballot. To obtain a nomination paper, candidates must first complete an Application for a Nomination Paper.

Completed applications can be submitted starting February 3, 2020, at the following locations to receive a nomination paper:

  • Office of Elections: federal and state elective offices
  • Clerk’s Office in the Counties of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai: respective federal, state, and county elective offices
  • City and County of Honolulu Clerk’s Office: City and County of Honolulu elective offices only

Ballot Name

Candidates must designate the name they want to appear on the ballot at the time of filing. The ballot name:

  • May include Hawaiian and/or English equivalents or nicknames
  • Contain a maximum of 27 typed spaces; including letters, spaces, and punctuation marks
  • Be in the format prescribed by the Office of Elections and otherwise meet the statutory and administrative rules requirements associated with ballot names.

Signature Requirements

A nomination paper must be signed by a minimum number of properly registered voters qualified to vote for the candidate.

Office SoughtMinimum Valid Signatures Required
U.S. Representative25
State Senator15
State Representative15
Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA)25
Mayor15
Prosecuting Attorney15
Councilmember15

For a signature to be valid, the individual signing the nomination paper:

  • Must live and be properly registered to vote in the district from which the candidate seeks office
  • May sign as many nomination papers as there are seats to be filled
  • Must include the last four digits of his/her social security number, name, signature, residence address, and birth date

Filing a Nomination Paper

The deadline to file a nomination paper is

June 2, 2020, 4:30 pm.

When filing a nomination paper, all candidates must certify that they:

  • Will qualify under the law for the office sought
  • Has determined all of the information on the nomination paper is true and correct, except for the information provided by the signatories
  • Are in compliance with HRS § 831-2, which provides that a person sentenced for a felony, from the time of the person’s sentence until the person’s final discharge, may not become a candidate for or hold public office.

Partisan candidates are required to certify that they are a member of the political party listed on the nomination paper.

County candidates are required to certify that they have complied with the relevant provisions of the applicable county charter and county ordinances pertaining to elected officials.

All candidates are required to provide a notarized written oath or affirmation. The oath or affirmation statement is on the nomination paper.

Filing Fee

Candidates must submit payment at the time of filing. The filing fee is based on the office the candidate is seeking.

Discounted filing fees are available for candidates seeking state or county office. Candidates interested in a discounted filing fee must agree to abide by the state’s voluntary campaign expenditure limits by submitting an affidavit to Campaign Spending Commission prior to filing their nomination papers.

Office SoughtFiling FeeDiscounted Fee
U.S. Representative$75N/A
State Senator$250$25
State Representative$250$25
Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee$250$25
Mayor$500$50
Prosecuting Attorney$250$25
Councilmember$250$25

Accepted forms of payment:

  • Cash
  • Money order
  • Cashier’s check
  • Certified check

Resignation Requirements

If a candidate is a state or county officeholder seeking a federal office, there is no resignation requirement.

Additionally, a state or county officeholder whose successor would regularly be elected at the same election in which they are a candidate for another state or county office is not required to resign.

However, a state or county officeholder, whose successor would not regularly be elected at the same election in which they are a candidate for another state or county office is required to resign. This resignation needs to occur prior to the state or county officeholder filing a nomination paper for the new state or county office.

Objection to a Nomination Paper

Objections can be made by a registered voter, an officer of a qualified political party, the chief election officer, or the county clerk in the case of a county election.

All objections must be filed in writing no later than

June 9, 2020, 4:30 pm.

Objections by a registered voter are filed with the chief election officer or the county clerk in the case of a county election. Objections by an officer of a qualified political party are filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Candidates will be notified of any challenge by registered or certified mail. The chief election officer or county clerk may hold meetings to gather facts for a preliminary decision on the merits of the objection. A decision must be made within five working days after the objection was filed.

If the decision is that the objection warrants disqualification of the candidate, the chief election officer or county clerk will file a complaint with the Clerk of the Circuit Court within seven working days after the objection was filed.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court will issue a summons to the candidate to appear before the court not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fifth day after service of the summons.

The Circuit Court will hear the matter in a summary manner and issue its judgment to the chief election officer or county clerk, not later than 4:30 p.m. on the fourth day after the return on the summons to appear before it.

If the judgment is to disqualify the candidate, the chief election officer or county clerk will follow the procedures set forth in HRS §§ 11-117 and 11-118 regarding the disqualification of candidates.

Additional Filing Requirements

Candidates are required to file reports with the following agencies. Contact appropriate agency for information on additional requirements. County candidates, check with your Clerk’s Office for county ethics requirements.

Federal Offices

Federal Election Commission, Information Services
999 East Street, North West
Washington, D.C., 20463
Phone: (800) 424-9530
www.fec.gov

State and County Offices

Campaign Spending Commission
235 South Beretania Street, Room 300
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808) 586-0285
www.ags.hawaii.gov/campaign

State Offices

Hawaii State Ethics Commission
1001 Bishop Street, Suite 970
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808) 587-0460
www.ethics.hawaii.gov


For complete information, please refer to HRS §§11-117, 11-118, and Chapter 12.

Questions relating to candidate filing? Contact the Ballots Operation Section at (808) 453-8683 or email [email protected], Attn: Ballots Operations.


Information is available in alternate formats. If you require special assistance call the Office of Elections at 808-453-VOTE (8683). Neighbor Islands may call toll free 1-800-442-VOTE (8683) or e-mail us at [email protected]