Justice Party Sues Hawaii Over February Petition Deadline for Newly-Qualifying Parties

On July 18, the Justice Party filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Hawaii petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties. That deadline is February 23. The case is Justice Party v Nago, cv-12-403. The case also challenges the Hawaii practice of disqualifying signatures signed by rural voters, when those rural voters show their post office box as their address. The state wants a residence address, but in many parts of rural Hawaii, the residence address is a 13-digit identifier used by the real property tax office, and an ordinary individual doesn’t know that number without checking paperwork.

The Hawaii deadline for newly-qualifying parties was in April in 1986, and a U.S. District Court in 1986 issued injunctive relief against that deadline on the grounds that it was too early. However, the attorney for the Libertarian Party, which won that injunctive relief, never returned to court later to get declaratory relief. Since then, the legislature not only did not change the law to create a later deadline, it did the opposite, and made it even earlier.

No other state has such an early petition deadline, when the laws of all the states are compared, using the later method for placing a candidate on the November ballot with the party label. Hawaii does have a procedure for an independent presidential candidate to get on the ballot, which has a September deadline. But that procedure does not permit the party label on the ballot.

2 comments

  1. Demo Rep · · Reply

    Separate is NOT equal.

    Brown v. Bd of Ed 1954

    — even for the voters on tops of volcanic islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

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