Special Election to Proceed as Planned in Pāhoa
By Wendy Osher
The state Office of Elections will conduct a special election on Friday, Aug. 15, as planned to accommodate voters from two polling places that were unable to vote on Saturday because of Hurricane Iselle.
Judge Greg Nakamura heard a challenge raised in Circuit Court seeking to delay the election to allow voters more time to recover from the storm damage and electric outages, but ruled against the request for an emergency temporary restraining order.
The challenge was filed by US Representative Colleen Hanabusa who trailed US Senator Brian Brian Schatz by 1,635 votes during Saturday’s primary.
Saturday’s vote count did not include walk-in voting at Hawaiian Paradise Community Center and Keoneopoko Elementary School, which were closed due to Iselle.
More than 8,000 voters are registered in the area where the special election is being held, enough to affect the outcome of the race.
Elections officials remind affected voters, that only those that were assigned to the two polling places mentioned, who did not previously vote by absentee mail-in ballot or at an early vote site, are allowed to vote at the upcoming special election.
The polling sites will be consolidated to a single site at Keonepoko Elementary School in Pāhoa, with polling place hours to run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Voters in line at 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
Election officials say they will also be accepting absentee ballots from affected voters who were unable to drop off their ballots during the primary election on Aug. 9.
Final results will be released tomorrow night (Friday, Aug. 15) once the votes have been tallied.
Information on bus or shuttle services to Keonepoko Elementary School is available by contacting the County Clerk of Hawaiʻi at (808) 961-8277.