Former state Rep. Matt LoPresti is asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider his challenge of election results in his close contest for a state Senate seat, saying he recently learned the Honolulu City Clerk included 126 invalid ballots in the vote tally in his race.
According to the state Office of Elections, LoPresti lost his race against Republican Kurt Fevella by 116 votes, but LoPresti said the City Clerk notified him on Jan. 31 that vote count included 126 mail-in ballots that were collected and counted after the 6 p.m. deadline on election night.
City officials have publicly acknowledged they collected and counted mail-in ballots from the U.S. Postal Service after the 6 p.m. deadline set by state law, which prompted the state Supreme Court to invalidate the Honolulu City Council race between Trevor Ozawa and Tommy Waters.
Ozawa was initially declared the winner in that council race by 22 votes, but the contest will now be decided through mail-in balloting that will wrap up on April 13.
LoPresti said the same argument that Waters used should apply in his Senate race against Fevella.
“If I had known that the City Clerk’s office wrongfully included ballots that were collected by them after the voting deadline of 6 p.m. I would have included this argument in my original complaint and explicitly named and included the city clerk’s office in the complaint,” LoPresti wrote in his filing with the court last week.
This is LoPresti’s second challenge of the election results. The Supreme Court court on Jan. 9 rejected LoPresti’s initial effort to overturn the election outcome, but that earlier filing did not include any information on any ballots counted after the election night deadline.