Nago Closes Puna Polling Places—Absentee-Only for Lava Zone
From Office of Elections June 7, 2018
WHEREAS, the Primary Election for the State of Hawaiʻi is scheduled for August 11, 2018; and
WHEREAS, on May 3, 2018, the Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi and the Acting Mayor of the County of Hawaiʻi each issued emergency proclamations relating to the volcanic activity in the East Rift Zone of Kilauea volcano; and
WHEREAS, on May 9, 2018, the Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi issued a supplementary proclamation; and
WHEREAS, due to the uncertain nature of the volcanic eruption, voters assigned to Pahoa Community Center (District Precinct 04-03) and Pahoa High & Intermediate School (District Precinct 04-04) are at risk of not being able to vote because their polling place may serve as an emergency shelter for those impacted by the volcanic activity or alternatively, due to their polling place being inaccessible; and
WHEREAS, election officials must make judgments based on the information available at the time and the unique circumstances of the occasion; and
WHEREAS, delaying a decision regarding the conduct of the Primary Election in District Precincts 04-03 and 04-04 may cause confusion and disrupt the election; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 15-2.5, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (HRS), the Chief Election Officer and the County Clerk may determine that the opening of a designated polling place will adversely affect the health and safety of voters or precinct officials as a result of a natural disaster, and the Chief Election Officer and County Clerk, by written order, may require the registered voters of the precinct to vote by absentee ballot; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 11-92.3, HRS, if the extent of the damage caused by a natural disaster is such that the ability of voters to exercise their right to vote is substantially impaired, the Chief Election Officer or the County Clerk in the case of county elections, may require the registered voters of the affected area to vote by absentee ballot pursuant to Section 15-2.5, HRS, and that notice of the requirement to vote by absentee ballot shall be given in the affected county or precinct prior to the opening of the precinct polling place by whatever possible news or broadcast media are available.
NOW, THEREFORE, the Chief Election Officer and the Hawaiʻi County Clerk hereby determine that a natural disaster exists that substantially impairs the ability of voters to exercise their right to vote in District Precincts 04-03 and 04-04 in the Primary Election scheduled on August 11, 2018. As such, the election in District Precincts 04-03 and 04-04 will be conducted by absentee mail ballot and the absentee ballots will be mailed to all registered voters in the affected precincts sufficiently in advance to permit the voters to return the ballots by 6:00 p.m. on election day.
Election officials will notify registered voters in District Precincts 04-03 and 04-04 of the issuance of this Proclamation.
Election officials will mail absentee ballots to all registered voters in the affected precincts during the week of June 25, 2018.
DONE at the Office of Elections in Pearl City, Hawai‘i, this 7th day of June, 2018.
SCOTT T. NAGO
Chief Election Officer
DONE at the Office of the County Clerk in Hilo, Hawai‘i, this 7th day of June, 2018.
PDF: View the Proclamation Announcing Polling Places 04-03 and 04-04 Designated as Mail Precincts for the Primary Election.
HTH: There will be no physical polling places for those voters.