The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected an attempt to stop the counting of votes in the election of delegates to a Native Hawaiian constitutional convention, or ‘Aha.

An emergency appeal was filed by plaintiffs associated with the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii after federal Judge J. Michael Seabright ruled in October that the election overseen by Na‘i Aupuni could go forward.

Voting is underway, with about 89,000 people certified to cast ballots. The election, which concludes Nov. 30, will seat 40 delegates to the ‘Aha that will commence next February with the purpose of proposing a plan for Native Hawaiian self governance. The outcome of the delegate election will be announced Dec. 1.

Plaintifffs seeking to halt the election filed a suit calling it “racially exclusive.”

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