Articles Posted in Election Law

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Petitioners filed a petition for a writ of quo warrant challenging Representative Calvin K.Y. Say’s authority to hold office as representative of the Twentieth District of Hawaii. The circuit court granted Say’s motion to dismiss the petition for nonjusticiability. Petitioners appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the law of the case doctrine does not foreclose Say’s arguments; (2) the legitimacy of Say’s qualifications to hold office presents a nonjusticiable political question; (3) the Attorney General was not prohibited from representing the House of Representatives against Petitioners; and (4) the grant of permissive intervention to the House of Representatives was proper. View "Hussey v. Say" on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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The Green Party of Hawaii and seven registered voters who voted in the 2012 General Elections (collectively, Green Party) filed this action seeking a declaratory judgment that certain methodologies and procedures used by the Office of Elections in the 2012 election were invalid under the Hawaii Administrative Procedure Act (HAPA). The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the Office of Elections, concluding that the challenged procedures were not subject to HAPA rulemaking requirements. The Supreme Court vacated the circuit court’s judgment in part, holding that the procedures used to determine that there will be a sufficient number of ballots ordered for each precinct for a general or primary election and the policy for counting votes cast on ballots for the incorrect precinct are rules under HAPA and, therefore, are subject to HAPA’s rulemaking requirements. View "Green Party of Hawaii v. Nago" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a Hawaii resident, filed an election contest complaint arguing (1) Presidential candidate Ted Cruz was not qualified to run for President of the United States and, therefore, the Republican Part was guilty of election fraud; (2) the Office of Elections sponsors racism by serving “whites only”; and (3) Governor David Ige is responsible for rampant bigotry and discrimination within the State. The State moved to dismiss the complaint. The Supreme Court entered judgment dismissing the complaint, holding that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the Supreme Court had jurisdiction over his complaint or the relief he sought. View "Smallwood v. State " on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed a complaint contesting the second special election for councilmember for District IV, City and County of Honolulu, alleging errors in the counting of the votes and the handling of the ballots. Plaintiff, a nonpartisan candidate for the District IV councilmember seat, had lost the election by forty-one votes. The Supreme Court entered judgment in favor of Defendants, the Chief Election Officer and the State Office of Elections, holding that Plaintiff failed to show in his pleadings actual information of errors, mistakes, or irregularities sufficient to change the outcome of the election. View "Waters v. Nago " on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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Plaintiff filed an election complaint to contest the November 2014 general election. Plaintiff was not listed on the ballot as a candidate for any officer in the November 2014 general election. Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of standing and, in the alternative, failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Supreme Court dismissed the complaint, holding that Plaintiff could prove no set of facts that would entitle her to any type of relief from the results of the general election, and therefore, Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. View "Dejean v. Nago" on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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Plaintiff Nelson Waikiki, Jr. was one of seven candidates for the Maui County Mayoral seat in the August 9, 2014 special primary election. Plaintiff received the fourth highest number of votes in the election. On August 22, 2014, Waikiki requested a re-vote or a re-count due to conspiracy and corruption by election officials. Chief Election Officer Scott Nago moved to dismiss the complaint as untimely and for failure to state a claim. The Supreme Court granted the motion, holding that Waikiki failed to present specific facts or actual information of mistakes or error sufficient to change the results of the election, and therefore, Waikiki could prove no set of facts that would entitle him to relief. View "Waikiki v. Nago " on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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At issue in the case was a proclamation made by Chief Election Officer Scott Nago on Friday August 8, 2014 that closed two polling places on the Big Island and postponed the elections for Precincts 04-01 and 04-02. The next day, the primary election went forward as scheduled. On Friday, August 15, 2014, the election proceeded for Precincts 04-01 and 04-02 and was subsequently completed. On August 21, 2014, Plaintiffs, none of whom identified were registered voters of precincts that were closed on Saturday, August 9, 2014 or candidates for elected office, filed an election contest complaint against Nago and the Office of Elections, alleging that Nago should be fired because voters were denied their right to vote. The Supreme Court dismissed the complaint, holding (1) Plaintiffs were not proper parties to the election contest and lacked the requisite standing under Haw. Rev. Stat. 11-172; and (2) even if Plaintiffs had standing, the complaint failed to set forth any allegations that would demonstrate errors, mistakes, or irregularities that would change the election result. View "Cermelj v. Nago " on Justia Law

Posted in: Election Law

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Plaintiff was the Democratic party candidate for the office of state representative, district 47, in the November 6, 2012 general election. After the election results showed Plaintiff had lost the election, Plaintiff challenged the results by filing a complaint in the Supreme Court against her opponent Richard Fale, BYU-Hawai'i, the Polynesia Cultural Center, Hawai'i Reserves, Inc., and a newspaper writer, alleging that Fale received more votes because several defendants conspired to throw the electoral process. The Supreme Court dismissed the complaint, holding that Plaintiff could prove no set of facts entitling her to relief, as none of Plaintiff's allegations related to her perceived inequities in the campaign process satisfied her burden of demonstrating errors that would change the outcome of the election for house of representatives, district 47. View "Beirne v. Fale " on Justia Law

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In this original proceeding, the issue before the Supreme Court concerned the election complaint filed by Plaintiff Khistina DeJean. She was one of four candidates for mayor of Honolulu in the August 11, 2012 primary election. She came in last, and challenged the primary alleging (among other things) that some polling places opened late, and the media discriminated against her. Plaintiff argued that the cumulative effect of these issues meant she was not treated fairly in the election. Plaintiff asked the Court to allow her to remain on the November 6, 2012 general election ballot as candidate for mayor. "It is not sufficient for a plaintiff challenging an election to allege a poorly run and inadequately supervised election process that evinces room for abuse or possibilities of fraud. An election contest cannot be based upon mere belief or indefinite information." Accordingly, the Supreme Court entered summary judgment in favor of defendants and dismissed Plaintiff's case. View "Dejean v. Nago " on Justia Law

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In these related original proceedings, Petitioners petitioned the Supreme Court for (1) judgment invalidating the 2011 Final Reapportionment Plan (Plan) for the state legislature adopted by the State Reapportionment Commission, (2) a writ of mandamus directing the Commission to prepare and file a new reapportionment plan for the state legislature, and (3) a writ of mandamus directing the Chief Election Officer to rescind the publication of the Plan. The Supreme Court issued orders granting the petitions and (1) invalidated the Plan, determining it was constitutionally invalid where (i) the Hawaii Constitution expressly mandates that only permanent residents be counted in the population base for the purpose of reapportionment, and (ii) the Plan disregarded this constitutional mandate by including nonpermanent residents in the population base that the Commission used to allocate legislative seats among the islands; (2) directed the Commission to prepare and file a new reapportionment plan that (i) allocates the members of the state legislature among the basic island units by using a permanent resident population base and then (ii) apportions the members among the districts therein; and (3) directed the Chief Election Officer to rescind the publication of the Plan for the state legislature. View "Solomon v. Abercrombie" on Justia Law