A bill in Hawaii’s state legislature that aims to potentially keep former President Donald Trump off the 2024 presidential ballot narrowly survived a procedural vote on Tuesday.
The Hawaii State Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bill 2392 by a single vote, moving the bill to the full floor, according to HawaiiNewsNow. The proposal seeks to grant the chief elections officer the authority to decide whether Trump should be disqualified from running for or winning the presidency.
Advocates for the bill argue that Trump’s involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot amounted to an insurrection, which should disqualify him from holding the highest office in the country. Several other states have also initiated efforts to prevent Trump, the current Republican front-runner, from appearing on the ballot in November.
Despite clearing the procedural hurdle, the bill has faced more criticism than support. Jamie Detwiler, a resident who testified ahead of the vote, described the bill as “tyrannical.” Detwiler pointed out that Trump has neither been convicted nor charged with insurrection and that there is no evidence to support such allegations.
Detwiler urged lawmakers not to waste time on what they perceive as a poorly written piece of legislation. According to HawaiiNewsNow, the bill received over 300 complaints or negative testimonies, with only about 20 in favor of it.
Senator Karl Rhoads, a Democrat, introduced the legislation because Hawaii currently lacks a legal process to exempt candidates from the ballot or disqualify them from appearing. Senate Bill 2392, which passed the committee by a 3-2 vote, aims to establish such a process.
The bill’s description states that it “specifies that election ballots issued by the chief election officer or county clerk shall exclude any candidate who is disqualified by a constitutional or statutory provision.”
It also “provides for a process for challenging an inclusion or exclusion of a candidate from a ballot. Includes a candidate’s disqualification as grounds for an election contest complaint.
Specifies that electors of presidential and vice presidential candidates shall not be individuals who are disqualified by a constitutional or statutory provision. Prohibits electors from voting for any presidential or vice presidential nominee who has been disqualified pursuant to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”
The bill has garnered support from the state’s Democratic Party. Senator Karl Rhoads serves on the Judiciary Committee, the Agriculture and Environment and the Public Safety Committee, and the Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee.
As the bill progresses to the full floor, its fate remains uncertain. If passed, it could have significant implications for Trump’s potential candidacy in the 2024 presidential election.
However, opposition to the bill highlights concerns regarding its constitutionality and the lack of evidence to support disqualifying Trump based on his alleged role in the Capitol riot.
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