Maui County Council candidate Noelani Ahia and 30 Maui County voters have filed an complaint with the Hawai’i Supreme Court seeking to void the results of the Wailuku-Waiheʻe-Waikapū County Council race, and hold a new election.
On election day, the County Clerk deemed the return envelopes of more than 800 mail in ballots deficient.
The County Clerk may deem a return identification envelope deficient if such an envelope is returned unsigned, the affirmation signature does not match the reference signature image or the envelope contains other conditions that would not allow the counting of the ballot.
According to the complaint, voters are given five business days after the election to cure deficiencies, but the complaint alleges that the County Clerk did not mail out notices to the affected voters until four days after election day.
In the latest unofficial printout of Nov. 9, 2022 at 12:50 p.m., Ahia received 22,178 votes and incumbent, Alice Lee received 22,682 votes, with a difference of 504 votes.
“The Supreme Court is not permitted to further extend deadlines to cure envelopes so it is not possible to know what the true result of the election is. As a result, the voters are asking the Supreme Court to invalidate the election results and to order a new election for the Wailuku-Waiheʻe-Waikapū County Council seat,” according to a press release issued by the plaintiff’s attorney.
“As Hawaiʻi moves from in-person voting to mail-in voting, it is vitally important that all election officials act with earnest diligence in ensuring that every lawfully cast ballot is counted,” said attorney Lance D. Collins. The plaintiffs are also represented by Bianca Isaki.