Thirty-two candidates are running for seven positions as Hawaii Island delegates to a Native Hawaiian constitutional convention, or aha, set for early next year. In all, more than 200 candidates qualified for a total of 40 delegate positions, the organization in charge of the election and convention announced Wednesday. Native Hawaiians who registered to vote by Oct. 15 will be allowed to vote for delegates. More than 95,000 voters have registered to date. The delegates will spend eight weeks in Honolulu beginning in February, deciding what type of nation or government, if any, will be created or reorganized. Half of the delegates, 20, will come from Oahu, seven from Hawaii Island, seven representing out-of-state Hawaiians, three from Maui, two representing Kauai and Niihau and one representing Molokai and Lanai.
… The election has been challenged in U.S. District Court in Honolulu by a group of Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians who contend a race-based election is contrary to the federal Voting Rights Act and the Constitution. The case was filed by the Washington, D.C.-based public interest law firm Judicial Watch, working with the Honolulu-based Grassroot Institute.
U.S. District Judge Michael J. Seabright scheduled an Oct. 20 hearing for a motion for preliminary injunction, which asks the election be halted until the case in chief can be decided.