POSTED: 7:31 p.m. HST, Sep 1, 2012
The state Supreme Court has dismissed a complaint filed by state representative candidate Kalei Akaka that sought redress of what Akaka claimed were “massive voting conduct irregularities” that may have caused her to lose the Democratic Party race for the District 6 seat in last month’s primary election.
The suit named as defendants fellow candidates Nicole Lowen, Bucky Leslie and Fred Housel as well as Chief Election Officer Scott Nago, Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi and Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Lowen won the election with 1,067 votes, followed by Akaka with 1,022.
Akaka, granddaughter of outgoing U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, claimed that Abercrombie lacked the authority to extend polling hours for Hawaii island, that elections officers miscounted or mishandled ballots, and that the late opening of polling places on the island ultimately “caused invalid ballots and votes to be cast and inextricably intermingled with valid ballots and votes cast.”
Akaka’s complaint asked for a new election for the District 6 seat, a manual recount of primary ballots for the race, and payment of her attorney fees.
The court on Friday dismissed Akaka’s complaint on the basis that it was filed one day after the filing deadline of Aug. 20. The court’s ruling noted that even if the complaint had been filed on time, it lacked “a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
The court stated: “Taking Akaka’s allegations as true and viewing them in the light most favorable t her, it appears that Akaka can prove no set of facts that would entitle her to relief because Akaka has failed to present specific acts or actual information of mistakes, error or irregularities sufficient to change the results of the election.”