The state appeals court has passed on a chance to decide the constitutionality of a section of the Hawaii County Charter that requires a candidate for office be a registered voter for at least 90 days prior to the election.
The case stems from a lawsuit that former County Council candidate Maile David filed prior to the 2010 primary election, when then-clerk Kenneth Goodenow determined that David, a former resident and registered voter in the 7th Council District, was attempting to run for the 6th Council District, where she resided.
David appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court, which ordered that David’s name appear on the ballot; David also filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the 90-day registered voter requirement as unconstitutional.
Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura ruled in favor of David, finding that the 90-day requirement was “an unreasonable burden” and “therefore invalid and not applicable.”
On appeal, the Intermediate Court of Appeals found that “ultimately, we conclude that we cannot render a decision in the constitutional issue in this case” because Nakamura’s court did not follow the procedures spelled out in state law relating to the challenging of nomination papers.
Specifically, a final judgment on David’s candidacy was not released until more than a month after the last day it should have been entered and two days after the 2010 primary election that she lost.
David also mounted an unsuccessful run for the 6th Council District this year, but after the new council took office she was appointed the deputy clerk.
The appellate court ruling invalidates Nakamura’s finding that the 90-day period is unconstitutional and further directs the court to dismiss the complaint.