Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Hawaii Republicans lose challenge of 2022 election audit process
By Court House News @ 1:30 PM :: 2017 Views :: Office of Elections, Republican Party

Hawaii Republicans lose challenge of 2022 election audit process

A judge tossed a lawsuit claiming the elections were compromised by the use of digitized images of ballots in the post-election audit.

by Candace Cheung, Courthouse News Service, February 13, 2023

HONOLULU (CN) — Republicans nationwide continue to question election integrity — despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud — but a Oahu Circuit Court judge put a stop to one such complaint at a hearing Friday afternoon in Hawaii.

The Hawaii Republican Party had accused the state’s election office of violating election statutes during the post-election ballot auditing process for the 2022 general elections, where Democrats won a majority of the races including for governor.  

The complaint, first filed two weeks after the election, named the State of Hawaii Office of Elections and Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago in his official capacity as defendants and asked for a proper election audit to be completed.

The GOP's suit relies on an assortment of witness statements and affidavits from election observers who claimed to have seen election officials using digitized images of ballots to tally votes rather than the paper ballots as required by state law.

Defendants argued the Republican Party did not have any concrete evidence to any kind of wrongdoing and said the party's assertions were without any evidence and called them “pure speculation.”

Hawaii Republicans sought a court declaration that Nago and the Elections Office improperly conducted the election audit and therefore improperly certified the election.

Oahu Circuit Court Judge Gary Chang was not convinced by the GOP's arguments and dismissed the case, finding Republicans were unable to show sufficient evidence that the elections were somehow compromised or that the party had been injured by the auditing process.

The Republicans' attorney William Dean, who himself characterized the party’s claims of damages to be "extemporaneous", attempted to maintain at Friday’s hearing that Republicans are not necessarily challenging the results of the election and are merely trying to exercise their right to ensure election safety.

Much of the hearing for dismissal involved dissent around the language of an election statute that governs electronic voting requirements. Dean argued the language of the statute specifically indicates paper ballots be used in the auditing process.

Arguing for Nago and the elections office, attorney Reese Nakamura emphasized that although images of the ballots were used, they were not indicative of any election security risks.

“The digital images are the paper ballots. There is not difference between the two, it is the same content, the same document. There is no reason to doubt the content.”

Nakamura also explained the use of the digital images, as opposed to the paper ballots themselves, is meant to promote organization and efficiency during the audit and that the tabulation of votes was still done by hand.

But in an interview, Liz Howard, senior counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice said in light of increased interest in post-election procedures, "from an election security standpoint, it is preferable to conduct an audit using a hand count of the actual paper ballot.”

Dean also offered up the point that pending bills introduced in the Hawaii Legislature proposing a change in the language of the statute could render the GOP's complaint moot if passed.

Since the Hawaii’s primary and general elections, courts have rejected a myriad other lawsuits that challenged the legitimacy of the elections, primarily from individual voters and losing candidates who could not provide evidence of election misconduct.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii


Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii


National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii


Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii