200 Native Hawaiians File to Become ʻAha Delegates

October 1, 2015, 4:30 PM HST · Updated October 20, 1:04 PM
Wendy Osher · 4 Comments
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Maui delegate candidates. Photo credit: Naʻi Aupuni.

Maui delegate candidates. Photo credit: Naʻi Aupuni.

More than 200 candidates are vying for 40 delegate spots to serve on the Native Hawaiian constitutional convention or ‘Aha.

Native Hawaiian candidates who were certified by Kanaʻiolowalu, the Native Hawaiian Roll, were invited to file for consideration.

On Maui there are 15 people running for three representative spots on the Valley Isle; and three individuals are running for a single representative spot for Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.

Naʻi Aupuni, an independent organization made up of a volunteer board of directors from the Hawaiian community, is facilitating the election.  The group was established “solely to create a path to Hawaiian self-determination.”

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The list of delegate candidates was announced by Election-America, the private national election company contracted by Nai Aupuni.

Delegate candidates must live in the area in which they run and will be elected by voters in that area.  If necessary, the Nai Aupuni may hold a ratification vote by registered Native Hawaiians.

Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi ʻAha candidates.

Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi ʻAha candidates.

Below is the list of 15 Delegate Candidates for Maui along with links to more information about each individual:

ʻOlu Campbell; Renee-May Filimoeatu; Kaniela Ing; Bronson Kaahui; Edward Kaahui; George Kaho’ohanohano; Natalie Kama; Carol Lee Kamekona; Robert Luuwai; Sharolee Naeole; Sarah Nakihei; Stanley Ornellas; Scott Parker; Justin Roman; Keoki Sousa; and Donna Sterling.

Below is the list of three Delegate Candidates for Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi along with links to more information about each individual:

Noa Aluli; Lori Buchanan; and Walter Ritte Jr.

In addition to the Maui County delegate spots, elections are also being held for the following:

  • 20 delegate spots on Oʻahu (110 applicants);
  • 7 delegates on Hawaiʻi Island (32 applicants);
  • 2 delegates to represent Kauaʻi and Niʻihau (5 appicants); and
  • 7 delegates to represent out-of-state Hawaiians (43 applicants).

“The nomination of delegate candidates is a milestone in the upcoming historic election for Hawaiians to determine if a reorganized Hawaiian government will be formed,” said Kūhiō Asam, Nai Aupuni president in a press release announcement. “The candidates are diverse in their age, backgrounds and purpose. They are representative of a good cross-section of the Native Hawaiian community,” said Asam.

Below is a list of upcoming dates associated with the delegate election process:

  • Oct. 15: Voter registration closes. This is the deadline to be certified with the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.
  • Nov. 1: Ballots for election of delegates sent to certified voters.
  • Nov. 1 – Nov. 30: The election of delegates will take place.  Votes can be cast throughout November by traditional mail or electronically. Those using traditional mail should mail their ballots early so they arrive at Election-America before the end of November.
  • Nov. 30: Delegate voting ends.
  • Dec. 1: Election results announced publicly.

The Naʻi Aupuni notes that Hawaiians who have not been certified can still apply with the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission or at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Information about the election process can be found at the Naʻi Aupuni website.

Hawaiians who are not sure of their status or have not received any information from Election-America, should verify their status and contact information with the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission online at or at (808) 973-0099.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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