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Court dismisses ACLU challenge to primary election

  • BRUCE OMORIAugust 15, 2014 - Pahoa, Hawaii:  The first voters to arrive stand in line at the doors to the poll of the special election for the two precincts that were closed by damage from Hurricane Iselle.
    BRUCE OMORI
    August 15, 2014 - Pahoa, Hawaii: The first voters to arrive stand in line at the doors to the poll of the special election for the two precincts that were closed by damage from Hurricane Iselle.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a legal challenge to the primary election filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.

The court found that the ACLU’s lawsuit was not a typical election contest and that the court did not have statutory or constitutional jurisdiction to grant the relief the group sought.

The ACLU had argued that six voters in Pahoa were deprived of their constitutional right to vote because of the actions the state took in the primary in response to Tropical Storm Iselle. The group asked that the court allow any Puna resident affected by the storm to vote by Sept. 19.

The suit also asked the court to invalidate a state law that gives the state’s chief election officer discretion on how to conduct postponed elections after a natural disaster, contending that the Legislature should prescribe the process.

The state had urged the court to dismiss the suit, arguing, among other things, that the court lacked jurisdiction.

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