The PJ Tatler

Racially Exclusionary Election in Hawaii Green-lighted by Federal Court

Yesterday I reported that a federal judge was set to rule on the legality of an election in Hawaii where the right to vote is limited by race.  Only “native Hawaiians” are permitted to register on the government-run voter rolls.  Registered native Hawaiians are then permitted to participate in an election next month to elect delegates to a native Hawaiian convention to discuss the relationship of native Hawaiians to the United States.


Today federal district court judge J. Michael Seabright green-lighted the election.

Native Hawaiians who are registered to vote will have the opportunity to elect delegates who will then meet at a convention, or ‘aha, next year to decide what type of nation or government, if any, will be created or reorganized.

Seabright ruled that even though public funds were used for the effort there was enough separation between the organizations and the state that it is essentially a private election, which can be conducted among a specific group.

A group of both Native and non-Native Hawaiians had sued to prevent the election, saying it’s unconstitutional to restrict voting to only Native Hawaiians.

The judge reasoned that even though the government conducted a racially discriminatory voter registration process, because a private party used the roll to conduct an election, it didn’t violate federal law.

Judicial Watch, the organization who brought the case, is indicating they will appeal.


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