The Hawaii State Supreme Court has ruled against Kalei Akaka in her challenge in connection with the August 11, 2012 Primary Election in which she sought to overturn the results of the Democratic Primary for State House District 6. Akaka lost her bid to become the Democratic nominee by only 45 votes to Nicole Lowen. Lowen had 1067 votes and Akaka 1022.
Akaka’s suit named her opponents (Lowen, Fred Housel, and Bucky Leslie), the Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi, Governor Neil Abercrombie, and State Elections Chief Scott Nago. She contended the Governor lacked the authority to keep the polls open late on August 11, which he did because several Hawaii County polling places opened late; the ballots were miscounted or otherwise mishandled; and there were massive irregularities in the voting process. Akaka asked for a new vote for the Democratic Primary, a recount of the vote, and attorney’s fees.
The Court ruled Friday. They said Akaka, who is 29 and the granddaughter of Senator Daniel Akaka, had missed the deadline to file a challenge, which was August 20, 2012, by one day, and therefore was “untimely.” But they also said that even if the challenge had been filed within the time allowed by law, which is six days after the election, an election challenge cannot be based on mere belief or indefinite information, and Akaka had failed to provide any proof of her claims.