Organizers cancel Native Hawaiian election due to lawsuit, will send candidates to convention

Organizers of an election that's considered a major step toward self-governance for Native Hawaiians are terminating the process because of litigation they say could take years to resolve.

Election leaders announced Tuesday that instead, all 196 candidates will be offered seats as delegates at a convention next year.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted an injunction requested by a group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians challenging the election. They argue Hawaii residents who don't have Native Hawaiian ancestry are being excluded from the vote, in violation of their constitutional rights.

The ballots that have been cast so far will be sealed and won't be counted.

The convention will start in February and is estimated to last four weeks.