Candidate replacement bill
likely to die in Senate

By B.J. Reyes
Associated Press

A bill that would allow political parties to replace a candidate on a ballot at any time should that person die, become incapacitated, withdraw or become disqualified appears headed for defeat.

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The measure -- which stems from the political scramble that resulted from the death of U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink last year -- would allow parties to replace a candidate up until the day of the election.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday to hold the bill. No companion bill has been introduced in the House, so the proposal is unlikely to be taken up again.

Among those who testified on the measure was interim Chief Elections Officer Dwayne Yoshina, who said allowing names to be replaced on the ballot at any time up until the election would lead to administrative problems.

"The testimony of Dwayne Yoshina was very compelling in that it's difficult to manage such a situation," Judiciary Chairwoman Colleen Hanabusa (D, Waianae) said in recommending the bill be held.

Mink died Sept. 28 after a monthlong hospitalization with pneumonia brought on by chickenpox.

Her death, which came a week after she won in the primary but two days after a deadline for the party to replace her name in the November general election, prompted a special election to fill the remaining five weeks of her term.

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