Martin Han's elections complaint

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Honolulu City Council candidate Martin Han filed this complaint Aug. 16, 2012, with the Supreme Court over the campaigning practices of his opponent, Joey Manahan, and another lawmaker, Romy Cachola.

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Martin Han's elections complaint

  1. 1. NO. _________________ IN THE SUPREME COURT OF STATE OF HAWAI’IMARTIN HAN, Plaintiff. vs. ORIGINAL PROCEEDINGJOEY MANAHAN, as an individual,ROMAY M. CACHOLA AND SCOTTNAGO, CHIEF ELECTION OFFICERFOR THE STATE OF HAWAI`I, in hisofficial capacity, Defendants. COMPLAINT EXHIBITS “A” to “E” LAW OFFICES OF TERESA D. MORRISON TERESA D. MORRISON – 8487 7 4 5 K E E A U M O K U S T R E T, S U I T E201B HONOLULU, HAWAII 96817 TELEPHONE NO. (808) 397-9477
  2. 2. (CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE ATTACHED) 2
  3. 3. COMPLAINT Plaintiff Martin Han (“Han”), alleges as follows: PARTIES 1. Plaintiff is a candidate in the State of Hawai`i within the meaning of Hawaii RevisedStatutes (“HRS”) § 11-172. 2. Defendant JOEY MANAHAN (“MANAHAN”) is a natural person and resident ofthe City and County of Honolulu. 3. Defendant ROMY M. CACHOLA (“CACHOLA”) is a natural person and resident ofthe City and County of Honolulu. 4. Defendant SCOTT NAGO (“NAGO”) is the Chief Election Officer of the State ofHawai`i and is responsible for the administration and supervision of all elections. JURISDICTION 5. Pursuant to HRS § 11-172, a candidate directly interested may file a complaint withthe Hawai`i Supreme Court. 6. Pursuant to HRS § 11- 173.5(a), the complaint shall be filed no later than 4:30p.m. onthe sixth day after a primary election. 7. Pursuant to HRS § 11-135(b), “the court shall hear the contest in a summary mannerand at the hearing the court shall cause the evidence to be reduced to writing and…give judgment.” ALLEGATIONS OF FACT 8. Defendant Manahan seeks to be candidate for election to the Honolulu City Council,District 7 Councilmember in the State of Hawai`i. 9. Defendant Nago, acting in his official capacity, conducted and administered a primaryelection on August 11, 2012 to identify candidates eligible to stand for election for various electedoffices, including election to the office of Councilmember to the Honolulu City Council for District7 in the State of Hawai`i. 10. In February 2012, Defendant Manahan declared his candidacy for District 7 3
  4. 4. Councilmember for the Honolulu City Council. 11. At the time of his announcement, Defendant Manahan was the State House ViceSpeaker and House Representative for District 29. Defendant Manahan served as the State HouseRepresentative for District 29 for three (3) terms. 12. Due to term limits, the current District 7 Councilmember, Romy Cachola (“Cachola”)was prevented from seeking another term as the District 7 Councilmember for the Honolulu CityCouncil 13. On January 19, 2012, Defendant Nago, acting in his official capacity provided a 2012Candidates Manual to all available registered candidates. A copy of the 2012 Candidate Manual isattached as Exhibit D. 14. On August 11, 2012, the State of Hawai`i Primary Elections polls were opened at7:00 a.m. Statewide. 15. On August 11, 2012, the day of the primary election, Defendant Manahan’s campaignposters were prominently displayed at the Laborers International Union of North America, Local 368(“Local 368”) located at 1617 Palama Street, Honolulu, HI 96817. A copy of the RestrictedElectioneering Map for Representative District is attached as Exhibit A. 16. At approximately 11:30 a.m., the Honolulu Police Department ordered Local 368 toremove all political signage and cited Local 368 for violation of HRS § 11-1321 . 17. On August 11, 2012, Defendant Manahan’s campaign posters were also presentwithin two hundred feet of the perimeter of the polling area at Moanalua High School Cafeteria. Acopy of the Restricted Electioneering Area for Representative District is attached as Exhibit B-1.1 §11-132  Two hundred foot radius; admission within polling place.  (a)  The precinct officials shall post in aconspicuous place, prior to the opening of the polls, a map designating an area of two hundred feet from the perimeter ofthe polling place and its appurtenances.  Any person who remains or loiters within an area of two hundred feet from theperimeter of the polling place and its appurtenances for the purpose of campaigning shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. For the purposes of this section, a polling place and its appurtenances shall include:     (1)  The building in which the polling place is located;     (2)  Any parking lot adjacent to the building and routinely used for parking at that building;     (3)  The routes of access between the building and any parking lot; and     (4)  Any route of access between any public thoroughfare (right of way) and the polling place to ensure an open andaccessible ingress and egress to and from the polling place for voters. 4
  5. 5. 18. Defendant Manahan’s campaign posters were not only within the prohibited twohundred feet, but were also inside the school entrance en route to the polling area. This was a clearand direct violation of HRS § 11-132(a). 19. Subsequently, a complaint that Defendant Manahan’s campaign banners were indirect violation of campaign laws was made to Dorian Ternora (“Ternora”), the Polling Captain atMoanalua High School. 20. At approximately 9:30 a.m., Ternora with her aide removed Defendant Manahan’scampaign banners. A photograph of Ternora and her aide removing Defendant Manahan’s signageare attached as Exhibits B-2 and B-3. 21. Entering into the primary election day on August 11, 2012, polls indicated there wereapproximately 40% undecided voters for the District 7 Councilmember for the Honolulu CityCouncil. 22. For a candidate to enter the November 2012 General Elections, a candidate mustobtain fifty (“50”) plus (“one”) votes in the primary elections. 23. The primary elections results of the August 11, 2012, for the District 7Councilmember for the Honolulu City Council were as follows: 1) Defendant Manahan received7,047 votes (51%), 2) Plaintiff received 3,436 votes (24.9%), and 3) Lillian Hong received 1,765votes (12.8%). 24. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Manahan purposefully left his campaign signs withinthe 200 foot perimeter of two polling areas to influence the approximately 40% undecided voters indirect violation of HRS § 11-132. 25. Plaintiff asserts that the registered voters in the areas of Local 368 and MoanaluaHigh School are predominantly retired senior citizens. 26. Plaintiff asserts that historically retired senior citizens vote early in the morning andthat on August 11, 2012, many of these voters who may also have been an undecided voter for theDistrict 7 Councilmember position of the Honolulu City Council were swayed by DefendantManahan’s campaign signs that were within the prohibited area. 27. On August 11, 2012, the polling areas near Local 368 and at Moanalua High Schoolopened at 7:00 a.m. where Defendant Manahan’s campaign signs were clearly in violation of HRS § 5
  6. 6. 11- 132. Defendant Manahan’s signs were not removed from Local 368 and Moanalua High Schooluntil 11:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., respectively. 28. Plaintiff asserts that a substantial number of voters saw Defendant Manahan’s signageimmediately prior to their voting in the primary election, which included the Councilmemberposition for District 7 for the Honolulu City Council that Defendant Manahan was a candidate. 29. Plaintiff asserts that a polling place is and should be unbiased. When a registeredvoter enters a polling area to cast their vote, their vote should be theirs and theirs alone and shouldnot be swayed one way or another by campaign signs such as the ones Defendant Manahan had at ornear the polling locations. 30. The final result between Defendant Manahan and Plaintiff was 51% and 24.9%,respectively. Plaintiff asserts that the result is a difference of less than 1% of undecided voters thatmay have been misled or prompted to vote for Defendant Manahan due to his campaign signs beingleft on display in several locations. 31. Plaintiff asserts that as a 3-term State House of Representative for District 29,Defendant Manahan is fully knowledgeable about campaign laws, specifically prohibited activitieson the day of an election. 32. Plaintiff asserts that the 2012 Candidate Manual provided to candidates by Defendant 6
  7. 7. Nago clearly states activities prohibited on Election Day 2. 33. Plaintiff asserts that the polling station near Local 368 and the polling station atMoanalua High School should not have been open until Defendant Manahan’s campaign signs wereremoved from the prohibited areas. 34. Plaintiff asserts that Plaintiff’s campaign office received numerous complaints fromregistered voters in District 7 of other candidates visiting their homes. 35. Plaintiff asserts that there was an unusually high amount of absentee ballots inRepresentative District Precinct 30-02, which may indicate voter fraud in District 7. 36. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Manahan and Cachola received a significant amountof absentee ballots from Representative District Precinct 32-02 and the absentee votes each receivedwere very close, 777 and 685, respectively. A copy of the number of absentee ballots received ateach precinct is attached as Exhibit C. 37. In the August 11, 2012, primary elections, the average number of absentee votes anycandidate received on Election Day calculates to 47.46%3. The maximum percentage of absentee2 2012 Candidates Manual, page 18, (emphasis added):Prohibited Activities: Campaign activities for the purpose of influencing votes are prohibited within the polling placeand within an area of 200 feet from the perimeter of the polling place and its appurtenances on election day (HRS§§11-132 and 19-6).Automobiles and other vehicles with political signs and stickers may remain within the 200 foot perimeter of the pollingplace only during the time that the owner (voter) is actually voting.Other activities not allowed within the 200 foot perimeter of the polling place on election day:- Political signs on public or private property;- Political clothing, including armbands, hatbands, shirts, muumuus, dresses, and campaign buttons;- Campaign pamphlets or other literature;- Public address systems and other public communication media; Motor caravans or parades; and - Entertainment troupes or free food and/or services.Candidates and their supporters are urged to check the 200 foot perimeter around each polling place and itsappurtenances prior to election day to ensure compliance with the law. Regional election maps which depict the 200foot perimeter around each polling place and its appurtenances are available at the Office of Elections and therespective Office of the County Clerk. A map will also be posted at the polling place prior to the opening of the polls.3 The Ratio is the Percent absentee ballots to total ballots. Total Absentee Votes = Absentee Mail Votes + Absentee Walk-in Votes. Ratio All Absentee Votes = [Total Absentee Votes + Total Votes (Column V)] * 100 7
  8. 8. votes a candidate received was 73.22%. Defendant Cachola is the only candidate to receive that highof a percentage of votes from absentee ballots. 38. Plaintiff asserts that in the 2000 elections, the Elections Task Force researchedpossible fraud and voting irregularities in the race for Councilmember for District 30 of theHonolulu City Council, which Cahola was a candidate. A copy of the Hawaii Reporter article isattached as Exhibit E. 39. According to the Election Task Force, they researched the vote count in this race dueto the uncommonly high rate of absentee ballots in the area that demonstrated possible fraud. Prior tocounting the absentee ballots Cachola was losing by a large number of votes. After the absenteeballots were counted, Cachola received 91% of the absentee ballots and won his race. See Exhibit E. 40. Plaintiff asserts that in the August 11, 2012 primary election, Defendant Cachola, whoran for the State House District 30 Seat, was losing to his opponent Nicole Velasco until the mail-inballots were counted. Subsequently, Defendant Cachola defeated his opponent 51% to 46%. 41. According to the August 16, 2012 article in the Honolulu Civil Beat, their analysiswas that “more than 70 percent of those who voted for Cachola in the Democratic primary against[Nicole] Velasco did so via a mail-in ballot. That was by far the highest percentage in Hawaii.” Acopy of the article is attached as Exhibit F. 42. Plaintiff asserts that no candidate received anywhere near the number of absenteeballot votes that Defendant Manahan and Cachola received at Precinct 32-02. See Exhibit C. 43. Defendant Manahan previously represented District 29 and has never run for office inwhich he would receive votes from Precinct 30-02. 44. As a first time candidate running in this District, Defendant Manahan received 777absentee ballot which is not only a substantially high number for any candidate but even more so fora first time candidate in this District. 45. Plaintiff asserts that the average number of absentee votes Defendant Manahan andDefendant Cachola received in all other precincts was 144 or less. Defendant Manahan andDefendant Cachola received 777 and 685 absentee votes respectively from precinct 30-02, which isthree to four times above the average number of absentee votes each received from the otherprecincts. See Exhibit C. 8
  9. 9. 46. Plaintiff asserts that there is a sizeable amount of care homes in this voting district. 47. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Cachola’s wife is a doctor and provides service tomany of the elderly in care homes. 48. Plaintiff asserts that many of the 777 and 685 absentee ballots that DefendantManahan and Defendant Cachola received may have come from residents at these care homes. 49. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Cachola made telephone calls on behalf of DefendantManahan to Labor Unions, supporters and donators urging them to support Defendant Manahanfurther illustrating that Defendant Cachola and Defendant Manahan worked together for votes. WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for relief as follows: 1. For judgment that due to the violations of HRS § 11-132, Plaintiff’s name be allowedon the ballots for the State of Hawai`i General Elections on November 6, 2012; 2. For judgment that the Elections Office review and compare each of the 777 and 685absentee voter names that Defendant Manahan and Defendant Cachola, respectively, received fromPrecinct 30-02. 3. For judgment that the Elections Offices review each of the 777 and 685 absenteeballots for actual signatures compared to an X marking for signature. 4. For judgment that the 777 absentee voters of Defendant Manahan and the 685absentee voters of Defendant Cachola’s from Representative District Precinct 30-02 be interviewedto determine if their ballots were handled correctly or if there was any coercion by any public officialor persons acting on behalf of a public official; 5. For judgment that all absentee ballots from Representative District Precinct 32-02 bereviewed and recounted for accuracy and authenticity; 6. For judgment that Defendant Manahan violated HRS § 11- 132; 7. For judgment that Defendant Nago violated HRS §11 -132; 8. For other judicial determinations and orders necessary to effectuate DefendantManahan and Defendant Nago’s responsibility in the violation of HRS § 11-132; 9. For such other relief as the Court deems appropriate. DATED: Honolulu, Hawai`i, August 16, 2012. 9
  10. 10. Respectfully,____________________________________TERESA D. MORRISONAttorney for Plaintiff 10
  11. 11. CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE The undersigned hereby certifies that a copy of the Complaint, Exhibits A through E wasduly served by placing the same in the United States Mail, postage paid, first-class mail on the dateindicated below: MR. JOEY MANAHAN 1250 Richard Lane, A408 Honolulu, HI 96819 MR. ROMY CACHOLA P.O. Box 17675 Honolulu, HI 96817 MR. EDWIN YOSHIMURA Chairperson for Friends of Romy Cachola 15 Craigside Place #110 Honolulu HI 96817 THE HONORABLE SCOTT T. NAGO Chief Election Officer Office of the Elections 802 Lehua Avenue Pearl City, HI 96782 The undersigned hereby certifies that a certified copy of the Complaint, Exhibits “A” through“E” was duly served by placing the same in the United States Mail, postage pre-paid, first-class mailon the date indicated below: ATTORNEY GENERAL State of Hawai`i 425 Queen Street Honolulu, HI 96813 DATED: Honolulu, Hawai`i, August 16, 2012. ___________________________________ 11
  12. 12. TERESA D. MORRISONAttorney for PlaintiffMARTIN HAN 12
  13. 13. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF HAWAI`IMARTIN HAN, SC NO. _______________________ Plaintiff. SUMMONS vs. For HRS Sec. 11-173.5JOEY MANAHAN, as an individual, ROMYM. CACHOLA, as an individual, ANDSCOTT NAGO, CHIEF ELECTIONOFFICER FOR THE STATE OF HAWAI`I, inhis official capacity, Defendants. SUMMONSSTATE OF HAWAI`ITo the above-named Defendant: Mr. Joey Manahan You are hereby summoned to appear in the Supreme Court no later than 4:30 p.m. on the fifthday after the date of service of the summons upon you, exclusive of the day of services, to answerthe annexed Complaint; Exhibits “A” through “E”; Certificate of Service. DATED: Honolulu, Hawai`i , 2012. ________________________________ Clerk of Court 13
  14. 14. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF HAWAI`IMARTIN HAN, Plaintiff. SC NO. _______________________ vs. SUMMONS For HRS Sec. 11-173.5JOEY MANAHAN, as an individual, ROMYM. CACHOLA, as an individual, ANDSCOTT NAGO, CHIEF ELECTIONOFFICER FOR THE STATE OF HAWAI`I, inhis official capacity, Defendants. SUMMONSSTATE OF HAWAI`ITo the above-named Defendant: The Honorable Scott T. Nago, Chief Election Officer, Office of theElections You are hereby summoned to appear in the Supreme Court no later than 4:30 p.m. on the fifthday after the date of service of the summons upon you, exclusive of the day of services, to answerthe annexed Complaint; Exhibits “A” through “E”; Certificate of Service. DATED: Honolulu, Hawai`i , 2012. ________________________________ Clerk of Court 14
  15. 15. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF HAWAI`IMARTIN HAN, Plaintiff. SC NO. _______________________ vs. SUMMONS For HRS Sec. 11-173.5JOEY MANAHAN, as an individual, ROMYM. CACHOLA, as an individual, ANDSCOTT NAGO, CHIEF ELECTIONOFFICER FOR THE STATE OF HAWAI`I, inhis official capacity, Defendants. SUMMONSSTATE OF HAWAI`ITo the above-named Defendant: Mr. Romy M. Cachola You are hereby summoned to appear in the Supreme Court no later than 4:30 p.m. on the fifthday after the date of service of the summons upon you, exclusive of the day of services, to answerthe annexed Complaint; Exhibits “A” through “E”; Certificate of Service. DATED: Honolulu, Hawai`i , 2012. ________________________________ Clerk of Court 15

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