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Aloha Aina Party attempt fails

Updated: 
March 1, 2016 - 1:30am

HILO — A pro-independence hui will have to wait another two years to get on the ballot after coming up short on the number of signatures needed to receive official party status for the 2016 elections.

But one of the founders of the Aloha Aina Party said they will continue organizing in the meantime.

“I think if anything else we are more focused and even more committed,” said Pua Ishibashi, of Keaukaha. “And to make sure that this moves forward in 2018, we’ll do everything we need to do.”

To qualify, the group needed 707 signatures from registered voters by last Thursday. Ishibashi said the state Office of Elections notified them that they didn’t have enough qualifying signatures, though he didn’t know how far they were off the mark.

One of the challenges, he said, was getting supporters registered to vote in time. Some, who believe the United States is occupying Hawaii, were hesitant to participate in state elections.

“I understand that we are going to need to put more effort into educating,” Ishibashi said. “I think a lot of these guys really don’t understand the queen, and all her patriots, they were all fighting for the vote.”

Founders say they believe the Hawaiian Kingdom still exists, but that’s not the only issue they hope to address.

The party says it was founded on five principles: aloha ke akua, aloha kanaka, aloha aina, hooponopono and government accountability.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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