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Green Party sues state over ballot shortage

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm •  Published: December 10, 2012

HONOLULU (AP) — The Green Party of Hawaii is suing the state and its chief elections officer over the handling of last month's election.

Two dozen Oahu polling places ran out of paper ballots during the Nov. 6 general election. In a lawsuit filed Friday, the Green Party is asking a judge to strike down the methodology used to determine the number of ballots that are to be printed in federal and state elections.

The lawsuit also seeks to have the process by which precincts ask for and receive additional ballots invalidated, along with the procedure to address situations where voters vote incorrect ballots. The lawsuit claims the methodology and rules that were adopted and used did not comply with proper rulemaking.

Attorney Lance Collins told The Associated Press on Monday that the intent is to improve elections going forward. "The ultimate goal is to make elections transparent and have integrity," he said.

Plaintiffs in the case include seven registered voters. Hawaii's chief elections officer, Scott Nago, and the state are listed as defendants.

Nago said his office doesn't comment on pending litigation. But he said his office is looking at the formula used to order ballots and how it distributes reserve ballots. Those are ballots kept at a central location, available in case anything happens to Election Day ballots.

A report from Nago to the state elections commission last month blamed the ballot shortage on a "deficient model" for ordering ballots, failure to follow safeguards to change the order or reallocate ballots before Election Day, and failure to get additional ballots out on Election Day in a timely fashion.

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