HONOLULU (AP) — Latest on the cancellation of a Native Hawaiian election (all times local):
An opponent of an election for Native Hawaiians says the decision to cancel the process proves it's discriminatory.
Kelii Akina is one of those challenging the election terminated Tuesday. He is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that argues Hawaii residents without Native Hawaiian ancestry are unconstitutionally excluded from voting.
The challenge reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which recently granted an injunction to stop ballots from being counted.
Election leaders say the litigation would have taken years to resolve, so they are abandoning the voting. Instead, all 196 candidates will be offered seats as delegates in a convention planned for February.
Delegates are expected to come up with a process for Native Hawaiian self-governance.
Organizers of an election that's considered a major step toward self-governance for Native Hawaiians are terminating the process because of litigation they say could take years to resolve.
Election leaders announced Tuesday that instead, all 196 candidates will be offered seats as delegates at a convention next year.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted an injunction requested by a group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians challenging the election. They argue Hawaii residents who don't have Native Hawaiian ancestry are being excluded from the vote, in violation of their constitutional rights.
The ballots that have been cast so far will be sealed and won't be counted.
The convention will start in February and is estimated to last four weeks.