Friday, February 27, 2015

Speaker Emeritus Say Meets Qualifications to Hold Office

After reviewing written documentation and hearing presentations from attorneys for the parties challenging Speaker Emeritus' Calvin Say’s qualifications to represent District 20 (St. Louis Heights, Palolo, Maunalani Heights, Wilhelmina Rise, Kaimuki) and defending Speaker Emeritus Say, the special House committee formed to investigate the matter determined that Speaker Emeritus Say is qualified to represent District 20. 

The committee will issue a written report to the House in which it outlines the process of its investigation and basis for its final decision. The report is available for viewing at

The report noted that the committee followed procedures that were consistent with the way other state legislatures handled similar internal investigations. The report also noted that the bulk of the documents submitted to the committee by both parties were previously reviewed by the Honolulu City Clerk’s office and the State Office of Elections in earlier unsuccessful challenges. 

The committee found no “compelling evidence” that Speaker Emeritus Say did not meet the requisite qualifications to represent District 20. 

The committee operated under several constitutional provisions, including one relating to requirements for holding office as a member of the House of Representatives (Article III, Section 6). Under the provision, the Hawaii State Constitution sets three qualifications to be a member of the House of Representatives: 1) be a resident of the state for not less than three years; 2) have attained the age of majority; and 3) be a qualified voter of the representative district from which the person seeks to be elected prior to filing nominations papers and continuing thereafter. 

Because Speaker Emeritus Say has long been and continues to be a registered voter in District 20 and meets the other two requirements, the committee found that the representative met the necessary qualifications. The committee recommended no further action be taken. 

The committee’s report and recommendation will be voted upon by the full House of Representatives.

Following the hearing Representative Calvin Say provided the following statement, "The House special committee has done its due diligence and found, like other investigative bodies before it, that there is no basis for this challenge. For me, I hope we can finally put this behind us and get on with the people’s business. Throughout the nine years of these challenges, I have seen these matters put squarely in the hands of my constituents and they have seen fit to return me to office each time. I look to focusing on matters of concern to my constituents and to all of the voters of Hawaii."

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