Court rejects ACLU lawsuit over primary election

Published: Aug. 28, 2014 at 3:47 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 28, 2014 at 6:48 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state supreme court has rejected an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of voters in Puna.

The American Civil Liberties Union and six Puna voters say they were denied their right to vote because the election was held when conditions after Tropical Storm Iselle made it impossible for them to leave their homes.

The court said the complaints in the lawsuit did not match the requirements for an election challenge -- and the issues were not in the court's jurisdiction.

ACLU Hawaii released the following statement:

Every day, the ACLU works to defend and protect civil rights, including the right to vote. We believe that every person's vote is important, and every person who wants to vote ought to have the same opportunity to do so. Many voters in and around Pahoa did not have that opportunity, and we asked the Hawai‘i Supreme Court to step in. Although the Court declined to do so, we are grateful that the Court considered this matter so quickly. While our clients are disappointed that they will not be able to cast ballots in the primary election, the ACLU will continue its work to ensure that every person has an equal opportunity to vote – even when a natural disaster strikes – and we look forward to working with the Legislature to prevent these kinds of situations in the future.

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