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Hawaii Nader Hearing Postponed Again

Published on October 29, 2004, by in General.

The ballot access lawsuit filed by Ralph Nader and Michael Peroutka should have heard on October 29 (Friday). However, on Thursday, the judge recused herself. The case was assigned to another judge, and is reset for Monday, Nov. 1. It seems impossible that any injuctive relief will be forthcoming, due to the timing, even though the case is very strong. Nader and Peroutka have evidence that they do have enough valid signatures.

2 Responses

  1. Bob Richard

    Knowing almost nothing (yet) about election law and judicial procedure, I find this fascinating. Suppose that, sometime after Tuesday, a competent court finds that Nader’s and/or Peroutka’s exclusion from the ballot was illegal. Is it possible that Tuesday’s results could be thrown out? If so, could a revote be scheduled by court order? Is it possible that the Hawaii legislature could be required to choose the state’s electors because there is no valid election result? Could the election officials who made the decisions denying Nader and Peroutka their places on the ballot be penalized? If so, would the penalties be civil or criminal? Alternatively, could the campaigns be entitled to collect some kind of damages? If so, from whom?

    If “no” to all of these questions, then what difference does it make how many courts rule a ballot exclusion illegal? In the absence of enforcement and/or penalties, election officials will just keep on excluding in the future.

    I gather that the polls in Hawaii are (surprisingly) close. So either or both of these exclusions could have a material effect on the outcome.

    I would appreciate hearing from the attorneys who read this site about how the law is supposed to work in this situation. Thanks!

  2. As I recall from a letter Mr. Winger sent me, automatic ballot access is granted in Hawaii based on having appeared on the ballot three previous times. Therefore, if the judges rule in their favor, while it might not affect this election, it could help them to get on the ballot in 2008.

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