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Iselle closes two Big Island polling places, but election will go on

August 8, 2014 - 7:52pm

The primary election will occur as scheduled Saturday, the state Office of Elections announced. However, Hawaii elections officials say they will postpone the primary election for about 8,000 voters in two precincts on the Big Island because of nearby road damage caused by a tropical storm.

Chief Election Officer Scott Nago said in a statement Friday that the roads left communities in Puna isolated.

Nago says the rest of the primary will move forward as planned. He says the precincts, Hawaii Paradise Community Center and Keoneopoko Elementary School, will vote absentee later.

Elections spokesman Rex Quidilla says about 8,000 voters are affected. He says the results for the rest of the election will be given Saturday night or early Sunday, as they are tabulated.

Quidilla says elections officials made the change after they were told the communities would not be able to get to the polling places.

Over the next 36 hours, the office will monitor effects of Tropical Storm Iselle to see if that needs to be changed, Elections said.

“Any decisions to deviate from the original election plans will be made based on the latest storm information and in further consultation with the county clerks, emergency management officials, and the Attorney General,” the office said.

Earlier this week, Hawaii County elections staff said they have generators available for polling sites.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.