Cermelj v. Nago

Full title: HOPE L. CERMELJ; AIKO AIYAMA; INA CAMPBELL; JON J. MORISHITA; PHILIP…

Court: SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF HAWAI’I

SCEC-14-0001070

Date published: Aug 28, 2014

Fact:

  • Hurricane/Tropical Storm Iselle made landfall on the Big Island of Hawaii on August 7-8, 2014.
  • Chief Election Officer Scott Nago issued a proclamation closing two polling places on the Big Island and postponing the elections for those precincts.
  • The primary election went forward as scheduled on August 9, 2014, with all other polling places open.
  • A second proclamation was issued to allow voters from the closed precincts to vote at a later date.
  • The election for the affected precincts was completed on August 15, 2014.
  • Plaintiff Hope Cermelj filed an election contest complaint, along with several other plaintiffs, alleging denial of the right to vote.
  • Defendants Nago and the Office of Elections filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.

Issue:

  • Whether the plaintiffs have standing to file an election contest complaint under Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 11-172.
  • Whether the complaint demonstrates errors, mistakes, or irregularities that could change the election results, as required by HRS § 11-172.

Decision:

The court found that the plaintiffs did not have standing to file the election contest complaint as they did not fall within the categories specified by HRS § 11-172. Additionally, even if they did have standing, the complaint failed to allege any errors, mistakes, or irregularities that could change the outcome of the election. Therefore, the court dismissed the election contest complaint.

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