Native Hawaiian election canceled in wake of US Supreme Court injunction

Published: Dec. 15, 2015 at 1:30 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2015 at 2:48 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An election for Native Hawaiians has been canceled, officials from Na'i Aupuni announced Tuesday during a press conference.

Kuhio Asam, president of Na'i Aupuni said the most effective decision would be to terminate the process because of all the delays caused by the ongoing litigation.

The election cancellation comes amid a U.S. Supreme Court injunction to temporarily block the counting of votes. While voting was supposed to end Nov. 30, officials later announced that the deadline would be extended to Dec. 21.

However, Na'i Aupuni leaders at Tuesday's press conference said Election-America has been informed to stop the receipt of ballots, to seal the ones that have already been received and to prevent anyone from counting the votes.

Native Hawaiians were voting to elect delegates for a convention next year to come up with a self-governance document to be ratified by Native Hawaiians.

"Our goal has always been to create a path so that Hawaiians can gather and have a serious and much-needed discussion about self-governance," Asam said. "We anticipated that the path would have twists and turns and even some significant obstacles, but we are committed to getting to the 'Aha where this long-overdue discussion can take place."

As part of the announcement, officials said Na'i Aupuni will still go forward with a four-week-long 'Aha in February. All 196 candidates will be offered a seat as a delegate to the 'Aha to learn about, discuss and ultimately reach a consensus on a process to achieve self-governance.

The deadline to participate in the 'Aha is Dec. 22, 2015.

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