Judge denies Colleen Hanabusa's request to delay Puna election

Published: Aug. 14, 2014 at 3:47 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 14, 2014 at 5:21 PM HST
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Colleen Hanabusa
Colleen Hanabusa

HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura has rejected Rep. Colleeen Hanabusa's effort to push back the Friday special election in Puna.

Hanabusa filed for an emergency temporary restraining order Wednesday morning, asking a state court to delay Friday's make-up election in two precincts hard hit by Tropical Storm Iselle last week.

The legal case asked the court to ensure that all voters "have a meaningful opportunity to cast their vote."

"Due to the storm, voters in the affected precincts are still without power and water and many roads are inaccessible or blocked with the debris," Hanabusa's memo asking for a preliminary injunction said.

"There is still limited electricity and phone service in these areas and it is unlikely that full power will be restored or that roads will be unblocked prior to or on Friday, August 15, 2014."

State elections officials are planning to consolidate the two precincts that did not vote last Saturday into one, at Keonepoko Elementary School this Friday and hold walk-in voting from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. and announce the results Friday night.

Following today's ruling, the special election will proceed as planned.

Hanabusa trails U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz by 1,635 in the race for the remainder of the term of the late U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye. In the other two Puna precincts where voting went ahead last Saturday, Schatz garnered about 10 percent more of the vote than Hanabusa.

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