WHT Breaking: Judge denies Hanabusa’s request to delay Puna vote
A judge on Thursday denied U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop a planned make-up election Friday in two Puna precincts where the polls were closed in Saturday’s Primary Election because of damage from Tropical Storm Iselle.
Third Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura said the decision by state Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago to hold a consolidated election for the two precincts Friday at Keonepoko Elementary School while people were suffering the aftereffects of the storm defied common sense, but the judge said he was legally powerless to stop it.
The ruling paves the way for the election to be held Friday.
Hanabusa trails Schatz by 1,635 votes, with 6,281 registered voters in the two precincts who had not voted absentee or at walk-in sites prior to Saturday.
The election scheduled on Friday for the two polling places that were postponed due to Hurricane Iselle is set to continue, according to the state Office of Elections.
Only voters who are assigned to Hawaiian Paradise Community Center (04-01) and Keonepoko Elementary School (04-02), who did not previously vote by absentee mail ballot or at an early vote site will be allowed to vote at Keonepoko Elementary School.
Polling place hours will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Voters in line at 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Election officials will also be accepting absentee ballots from voters who were unable to drop off their ballots during the primary election on Aug. 9. Final results of the 2014 primary election will be released the same evening at hawaii.gov/elections.
For information on bus or shuttle services to Keonepoko Elementary School, contact the County Clerk of Hawaii at 961-8277.