An opponent of an election for Native Hawaiians says the decision to cancel the process proves it’s discriminatory. Kelii Akina is one of those challenging the election terminated Tuesday. He is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that argues Hawaii residents without Native Hawaiian ancestry are unconstitutionally excluded from voting. The challenge reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which recently granted an injunction to stop ballots from being counted.
Election leaders say the litigation would have taken years to resolve, so they are abandoning the voting. Instead, all 196 candidates will be offered seats as delegates in a convention planned for February.
Delegates are expected to come up with a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.