by Andrew Walden
It could be the most significant change in Hawaii since statehood. Three-quarters of native Hawaiians are effectively excluded from the process--as are all non-Hawaiians. Included: Lots of incarcerated prisoners, dead people, and people living on the mainland.
A contract quietly signed June 18, 2015 and posted on the website of OHA contractor Na'i Aupuni outlines a timeline for candidate registration and voting for an 'aha or convention designed to force native Hawaiians into a fake Indian tribe.
According to the text of Na'i Aupuni contract with "Election-America, Inc" a "mail or email Notice of Election" with candidate registration information is to be sent out to the "known electorate" of approximately 100,000 persons today -- Wednesday, July 15, 2015. The "known electorate" consists of "Kanaiolowalu, a project of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission...as well as the combination of previous registries using a verification process with the criteria set forth in Act 195, as amended." Excluded are the roughly three-quarters of native Hawaiians who have not participated in the Roll.
UPDATE July 21: a Nai Aupuni representative informs Hawai'i Free Press that Election-America has still not mailed out the 'Notice of Election'.
The NHRC website claims Kanaiolowalu includes over 122,785 names. It is not clear what happened to the missing 22,785. An October 16, 2013 report to the OHA Committee on Asset and Resource Management shows 25% of names on the now-combined Roll are "without any contact information" boosting the report's estimate of "bad contacts" on the Roll to 45%. (ARM #13-09 last page) An estimated 20% are minors who are to be excluded from voting under Na'i Aupuni's rules. Others point out that the Roll is laden with prisoners and dead people.
New York-based "Election-America, Inc" describes itself as a "full-service election management organization...in the business of perfection" -- But it has been very careful to include language blaming Na'i Aupuni for any problem with the Roll. Clause 11-B of the contract reads:
"E-A assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information provided to it by client, including but not limited to, any membership database, names, addresses, member identification numbers and the like."
The US Constitution says only Congress can recognize Indian tribes, but according to Sen. Brian Schatz, the rush is on to present a fake Hawaiian Indian Tribe to the Obama Administration for (illegal, administrative) recognition before Obama's term ends. Said Schatz: "we’re hoping the Department of the Interior will proceed with good pace.” But DoI will need something that looks like a tribal government to 'recognize'.
An 'election timeline' included within the Election-America contract includes:
- E-A will mail or email Notice of Election to known electorate July 15, 2015
- Deadline for submitting Delegate Candidate Applications September 15, 2015
- Deadline for E-A to determine eligibility of Delegate Candidates September 30, 2015
- Deadline for additions to electorate October 15, 2015
- Ballots mailed and/or emailed to known electorate November 1, 2015
- Deadline for ballots to be received December 1, 2015
The term of the contact runs from June 18, 2015 until December 31, 2015. Payments totaling $177,208 are scheduled as follows:
- I. $9,400.80 upon signing of this Election Services Agreement. (June 18, 2015.)
- II. $69,802.40 for Candidate Registration Services due on Client's Mail Date of printed materials. (July 15, 2015)
- Ill. $69,802.40 for Voting Services due on Client's Mail Date of printed materials. (November 1, 2015)
- IV. $28,202.40 plus all fees and costs incurred with all Election Change Orders due on Client's Tabulation/Results date. (After December 1, 2015)
According to the contract, Na'i Aupuni has decided that 40 delegates will be elected for the tribal 'Aha, apportioned as follows:
- O'ahu- 20 delegates
- Hawai'i- 7 delegates
- Maui- 3 delegates
- Kaua'i- 2 delegates
- Moloka'i & Lana'i- combined 1 delegate
- Outside of the State of Hawaii- combined 7 delegates
The legality of participation by non-Hawaii residents in a State of Hawaii election is doubtful. Also it is not clear that Ni'ihau is to be included with Kaua'i.
The State of Hawaii, Office of Hawaiian Affairs on April 27, 2015 contracted with Na'i Aupuni, a collection of political cronies, overseen by the Akamai Foundation. Now Na'i Aupuni is contracting with Election-America to organize an election based on the Kanaiolowalu Roll instead of the statewide roll of Hawaii registered voters which is the only legal basis for State-organized elections in Hawaii.
The three contractors may have been selected without open public bidding--possibly in violation of Hawaii state procurement laws.
The Election-America website indicates E-A provides election services mostly for private membership organizations. OHA, by contracting with Na'i Aupuni, is attempting to mask the fact that the 'Aha is illegally being organized via a State of Hawaii election.
A copy of the Rice v Cayetano decision is posted on the Na'i Aupuni website alongside Act 195 and HRS Section 10-H. This is interesting because clause nine of the Contract reads:
"Client (Na'i Aupuni) warrants to E-A that Client has provided E-A with true, correct and complete copies of all internal and external rules, laws, regulations, bylaws, directives, statutes and ordinances which may affect each Election. Client further warrants that each Election as provided for herein is in compliance therewith."
The contract is a perfectly obvious violation of the Rice v Cayetano prohibition Hawaii from organizing racially exclusive elections. The candidate selection process is a perfectly obvious violation of the court ruling in Arakakai v Hawaii which forbids racially exclusive. The contract is also a violation of the Hawaii State Constitution Article IV, Section 3 which provides that State voter rolls and State elections shall be overseen by the State Chief Elections Officer, not by a contractor hired by a contractor hired by OHA.
Is Na'i Aupuni attempting to indemnify itself by posting Rice v Cayetano on its website?