Democratic Party Will File Legal Challenge Over Hawaii’s Primary Election Laws

Dante Carpenter
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Dante Carpenter

The Democratic Party of Hawaii will file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to seek an injunction against the state of Hawaii over its primary election laws, according to Party chair Dante Carpenter.

As the law stands now, the Democratic Party of Hawaii must allow candidates who claim Democratic Party affiliation to run as Democrats, but the party leadership said that provision “does violence to the party’s own association of freedoms and freedoms of its membership.”


Party leaders want to regulate who can run for office under their party banner.

They also want to have Hawaii return to a closed primary election system to prevent Republicans and independents from crossing over to vote in Democratic primaries. That would mean those voting in the primary election would have to show a party card or prove party affiliation before casting votes for Democrats on the ballot.

Currently, Hawaii law restricts voting on the primary election to candidates in one party, but the voter does not have to prove party affiliation.

The party central committee and leadership notes: “The Democratic Party of Hawaii believes that its primary election, a state imposed mandatory nomination procedure, ought to be open to participation of only such persons as are willing to declare their affiliation with and support of the party, either through public registration to vote, or through maintenance of of membership in the party. The party further believes that the current Constitution and laws of the United States, by maintaining secrecy of affiliation, and by compelling the party to admit to its nomination procedures those who have no interest in it, or actually oppose the interests, values and platform of the party, do violence to the party’s associational freedomrs and the individual freedoms of its membership to define their own political views, guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States.  The State Central Committee and party chairperson shall take the appropriate action to correct this injustice.”

Labor Attorney Tony Gill will proceed with the lawsuit on the party’s behalf.






  1. What a joke! Cant ask them for an ID to vote, but now we can ask them to prove they are card carrying democrats? Shocking, NOT

  2. Typical Democrats! It's not enough that they control 99% percent of all poltical power but now they want it all…
    Oh but don't ask for an I'd to prove citizenship only that you a a card caring Demoncat. I hope this gets shot down but not betting on it.

  3. Dante " Screw what the people think" Carpenter is the biggest red flag out here. If his name is attached to any legislation bill, then beware.

  4. I have been a lifelong Democrat, but this measure will prompt me to never again contribute one cent nor one hour of my
    time to the Party as it is manifest in Hawaii. I do not ever wish to have to pass through Dante
    Carpenter or any such in order to express my right to vote. I certainly find my Local Party now as far distant from that of
    FDR as can be imagined. If this suit is successful, I shall write off my Local Democratic Party as an evil that cannot be allowed to continue.

  5. Hawaii's democratic Dante Carpenter seems like the chancellor in the movie "V for vengenance"

    "Local boy" Obama knows what's going on here, but wants to be known as a "fierce advocate for equality" for gays and lesbians, not for open elections.

  6. Dante contradicts fellow democrat Carlisle’s promises when he was mayor. Remember them?
    One: We are preparing Honolulu for the future,
    Two: We are investing in infrastructure,
    And Three: We are ending politics as usual and increasing citizen engagement.

    AND DANTE wants to STOP it? .
    Typical politicians all, what did Carlisle do? NOTHING except push the rail.
    Have a feeling this is a political ploy?

  7. Currently, Hawaii law restricts voting on the primary election to candidates in one party, but the voter does not have to prove party affiliation. linkedIn

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