Oral Argument before the Hawaii Supreme Court — SCEC-22-0000707
No. SCEC-22-0000707, Thursday, January 19, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
J. NOELANI AHIA, SHAYNE NAMEAAEA HOSHINO, KACI-CHEREE DIZON, SHAWN-CHRISTIAN DIZON, CODY NEMET, FAY MCFARLANE, NORRIS MCFARLANE, JADE CHIHARA, KEVIN BLOCK, OLIVIA NGUYEN, TRINETTE FURTADO, KEISA LIU, CAROL LEE KAMEKONA, EMILIE VINCENT, LAURA JOHNSON, HARRY JOHNSON, SARA TEKULA, RENA BLUMBERG, MAYA MARQUEZ, JASON MEDINA, STACEY MONIZ, CHRISTY KAHOOHANOHANO, REAGAN KAHOOHANOHANO, ZION EBBERSON, RAUL GOODNESS, TERRILL JAMES KANE ALII WILIAMS, LORI SIERRA KNIGHT, GRETCHEN LEISENRING, JONATH PADILLA, ALENA ORNELLAS, and SANDRA IMBERI IOAKIMI, Plaintiffs, vs. ALICE L. LEE, KATHY L. KAOHU, County Clerk, County of Maui, and SCOTT T. NAGO, Chief Elections Office, State of Hawaiʻi, Defendants.
The above-captioned case was set for oral argument on the merits at:
Supreme Court Courtroom
Aliʻiōlani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
The oral argument was livestreamed for public viewing via Olelo Community Television, and the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts.
Attorneys for Plaintiffs J. NOELANI AHIA, et al.:
Lance D. Collins of the Law Office of Lance D. Collins, and Bianca K. Isaki of the Law Office of Bianca Isaki
Attorneys for Defendant SCOTT T. NAGO:
Patricia Ohara, Reese R. Nakamura, and Candace J. Park, Deputy Attorneys General
Attorneys for Defendant KATHY KAOHU:
Moana M. Lutey, Corporation Counsel; Caleb P. Rowe and Keola R. Whittaker, Deputies Corporation Counsel
Attorney for Defendant ALICE L. LEE:
Peter A. Horovitz of Horovitz Tilley LLLC
COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Wilson, and Eddins, JJ.
This case is an original-jurisdiction election contest, brought by 30 registered voters and J. Noelani Ahia, a candidate for the Wailuku-Waiheʻe-Waikapū seat on the Maui County Council, against three defendants, Scott Nago, Chief Election Officer for the Office of Elections of the State of Hawaiʻi, Kathy L. Kaohu, Chief Clerk for Maui County, and Alice L. Lee, in her capacity as the incumbent in the challenged Wailuku-Waiheʻe-Waikapū seat.
The Plaintiffs allege various irregularities and mistakes grounded in the processing of mail-in ballots, specifically the process employed by the Maui County Clerk’s Office for determining the validity of return-identification envelopes and for notifying voters whose return-identification envelopes were deemed deficient of that deficiency and the opportunity to cure, as well as a related denial of an information request by Candidate Ahia regarding the identity of voters whose return-identification envelopes had been deemed deficient.
The Defendants have pending before the court motions for partial or full dismissal or, in the alternative, for summary judgment, while the Plaintiffs have, in addition to the original November 25, 2022 complaint, a pending December 12, 2022 motion for summary judgment. The most recent filings in this case occurred on December 20, 2022, including the filing of a supplemental declaration by Chief Clerk Kaohu.