A losing candidate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is asking the state’s highest court to strike the election results in his race over problems he sees in Hawaii’s recount law.

Keoni Souza, who lost to incumbent OHA Trustee Kelii Akina by just 1,623 votes, wants a hand recount of ballots in the hopes that such a recount might turn up enough supposedly uncounted votes cast in the race. 

Keoni Souza, a candidate for the OHA Board of Trustees, wants a hand recount of ballots cast in his race with incumbent Kelii Akina. Courtesy: Keoni Souza

In his complaint filed Monday, Souza focuses on the more than 185,000 blank votes recorded in his race with Akina. 

That race, one of the tightest during the general election, falls outside the threshold for election officials to conduct an automatic recount of the results.

Souza, who is representing himself in the elections challenge, is also asking the state Supreme Court to toss the original results and order a new special election to take place.

The state Supreme Court has already dismissed at least five other election challenges since the August primary.

Gov. David Ige, Hawaii Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago and the four county clerks are named as defendants in Souza’s complaint. None filed answers as of Monday afternoon.

Read the complaint below.

Something to consider...

Civil Beat is a small, independent newsroom that provides free content with no paywall. That means readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism.

The truth is that less than 2% of our monthly readers are financial supporters. To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.

Will you consider making a tax-deductible gift today?

About the Author