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The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a bid to halt an ongoing election that could ultimately establish a Native Hawaiian government, ruling that the challengers had failed to meet the criteria to block the counting of ballots.
Six individuals had appealed to the 9th Circuit saying that links between the Native Hawaiian foundation running the election and state agencies made it an unconstitutional public action. The panel of judges said the individuals had failed to show that they would be irreparably harmed by the vote counting, that the balance of equities favors them, that it is in the public interest to issue an injunction or that they were likely to succeed on the merits of their appeal.
The panel did not provide further reasoning behind its unanimous decision and simply said the appellants had “not made the required showing.”
The election, which concludes on November 30, 2015, will select 40 delegates to a constitutional convention, or 'Aha, which will explore how to reach consensus among Hawaiians on self-determination and whether to create a constitution for a nation, according to the nonprofit Na’i Aupuni Foundation, which is conducting the election using a $2.6 million state grant.
The foundation, the State of Hawaii, and the federal government all argued in favor of the election.