UPDATE August 27: Supreme Court Rejects Han's Lawsuit (Full Text)
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Martin Han Announces: Contesting District 7 race for illegal Campaigning.
The race to go on to general was lost by less than 1%.
News Release from Martin Han for Council Campaign August 21, 2012
First, I want to thank the community for all their support and inquiries. I am very proud of the campaign we ran and of my supporters and the community. Second, I want to be very clear as to the reason why I filed to contest this race. I did not file because of any ill feelings due to the outcome of this race. I filed for the future candidates who want to run for office, who want to make a difference in their community, and who may choose not to because they are afraid to say anything or afraid to challenge the political machine.
There are two major areas of concern that prompted me to file this election contest. The first is the direct campaign law violation of Mr. Manahan on Election Day. On said day, Mr. Manahan chose to influence voters and leave his banners both outside and inside the entrance of the polling locations. This is a direct violation of campaign laws. Furthermore, because our names are similar, Manahan and Rana Han, it caused some confusion with voters. Voters often asked if I was Manahan. It is my belief that Mr. Manahan purposely left his campaign banners within the restricted zone to influence these voters and the large number of undecided and senior voters. As a three-term politician and the current House Vice Speaker, Mr. Manahan is well aware of campaign law. He knows better, and he knows this tactic to be unethical and illegal.
The second area of concern is the unusually high number of absentee votes that Mr. Manahan and Mr. Romy Cachola received in District 30-02, 777 and 685 respectively. The two primary races these candidates were in were decided by a small margin of votes in the Kalihi area. My race was decided by less than 1% while the other race was decided by about 100 votes in the same district.
With respect to the unusually high number of absentee votes received by both Mr. Manahan and Mr. Cachola in District 30-02, our campaign office received many complaints from the registered absentee voters in the community that Mr. Romy Cachola and Mr. Manahan had visited their homes and advised them to vote a particular way. This District has a high number of Filipino residents, including myself. In our culture, a visit from a political official can be very daunting, especially for Senior voters. We knew Mr. Cachola was actively assisting Mr. Manahan due to the many calls we received from union leaders and supporters reporting to us that they told not to support me. I take no issue with Mr. Cachola supporting my opponent, however what does concern me is the steep number of absentee ballots Mr. Manahan received from District 30-02. In Mr. Manahan’s previous three elections for State House Representative in District 29, the highest number of absentee ballots he ever received was just over a 100 votes. Yet in his first run for City Council in a new District, which includes District 30-02, Mr. Manahan received an unprecedented 777 absentee votes. Coincidentally, District 30-02 also happens to be Mr. Cachola's area, for which he received 685 absentee votes.
Based on what we know from our community members and the number of absentee votes from one particular District, we believe we have community members that were afraid, and told how to vote. This is not about me. It is about the community. It is the responsibility of the Elections Office to ensure a fair democratic process. That is what I believe the community deserves. Therefore, it is my hope that the Election Office will undertake an investigation to verify that the names of the absentee voters, the 777 for Mr. Manahan and the 685 Mr. Cachola, are the same people and that they were not compelled to vote in any particular manner. If we do not take a stand and seek an investigation into these allegations, then our community and future candidates will continue to be disenfranchised. A fair and just election is the foundation on which our democracy was built, and the right of all citizens which I seek to uphold.
Abercrombie: Use Hawaii County Election Snafu to Impose Romy Cachola Plan
KHON: "That will take advantage of modern technology to make it as easy as possible for people to register and to vote and to minimize the actual personnel required on a given day," said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
The governor says he hopes lawmakers would consider an all mail in vote saying voter turnout is higher for those who request mail in ballots.
read … Why Stop at Kalihi?
Manahan won the seat outright with 51 percent of the vote. Han wants election officials to carefully examine the absentee votes Manahan received.
"We want to make sure we clarify that and understand what's going on," he said.
In a statement, Manahan said, "I am absolutely confident we won fair and square. Our campaign has always been transparent, and I am sure that the Office of Elections will find no violations."