Election preparations on hold until legal complaints resolved

While the State Elections Commission conducts its investigations, KHON2 wanted to know if and how the general election would be affected.

Chairman Willliam Marston says the commissioners are keeping one eye on the complaints that were filed with the Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday, roughly 30 minutes before the deadline to file challenges to the primary election.

The ACLU, together with six voters in Puna, filed a challenge, asking the court to order yet another election for those in Puna who were not able to cast a ballot in the wake of Tropical Storm Iselle.

Another complaint was filed by Hope Cermelj, who was joined by six other plantiffs. All were voters who did not have a chance to cast a ballot in either the primary or make-up election held last Friday.

On Friday, the Supreme Court ordered the four defendants in the ACLU complaint, including Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Chief Election Officer Scott Nago, to respond to the lawsuit by next Tuesday.

Until the complaints are resolved, Nago says everything is on hold.

“One of the things we can’t do is certify the (primary) election (results),” said Nago. “We need to get the ballots out by the 19th of September in order to meet the 45-day federal requirement.”

Nago is referring to the federal requirement that ballots be sent out to voters overseas 45 days before the general election, in order to allow ample time for the votes to return to Hawaii.

The general election is scheduled for November 4.

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