The State Supreme Court dismissed a primary election challenge filed by a nonpartisan House candidate Hope Louise Cermelj was dismissed. The challenge filed by Kalei Akaka, who lost her bid to be the Democratic nominee for State House District 6, has not yet received a ruling.
Hope Louise Cermelj challenged the election results after failing to receive enough votes to be placed on the general election ballot. Her handwritten complaint claimed she was “discriminated against by freedom of speech and freedom of the press.” Cermelj was seeking to challenge State House Representative Faye Hanohano (D, Pahoa-Kalapana) in the General Election. There were two Nonpartisan candidates; Cermelj received 35 votes and Moke Stephens received 32 votes, and nine voters selected nobody. Hanohano received 3,371 votes. In a nonpartisan race, a candidate must receive 10 percent of the total votes cast for the office or an amount equal to the lowest vote received by a partisan candidate to move on to the general election.
In dismissing the claim, the State Supreme Court said Cermelj failed to back up the discrimination claim with evidence.
Akaka lost to Nicole Lowen by 45 votes. She received 1022 votes and Lowen got 1067 votes in a four-way race to be the Democratic nominee for the General Election, to face Republican Roy Ebert to represent North Kona. Akaka contends that Governor Neil Abercrombie inappropriately had Hawaii Island polls stay open an extra 90 minutes, until 7:30 from the mandated 6 p.m. closing time, because of several late-opening precincts on Hawaii Island. She says any votes cast after 6 p.m. should be invalid.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon as Absentee Ballots must be mailed out to overseas and military voters by September 21.