Hanabusa May Challenge Results, Thousands Disenfranchised
NYT: Though there is no provision for an automatic recount in Hawaii, Ms. Hanabusa could challenge the results in court. She had sued unsuccessfully to delay Friday’s vote, arguing that thousands of residents in the area were still without electricity or running water and that many would not be able to make it to the polls.
On Friday night, Ms. Hanabusa said she had “no idea” whether she would challenge the final tally.
Dozens of residents who said they had been trapped at home by the storm on Aug. 9 went to polling stations on Friday only to find that they were not allowed to vote because they lived in a neighboring precinct where the polls had stayed open last weekend.
“They’ve left thousands of voices out,” said Aubrey McCarroll, 38, who said his road was covered with downed albizia trees on Aug. 9. “It didn’t even seem safe to be out on Election Day.”
Ms. Hanabusa said it was very difficult to see voters turned away. “Their stories were heart-wrenching,” she said. “They felt so disenfranchised.”
read ... The New York Times
Oshiro: Special Session to Fix Puna Vote?
KHON: “On Saturday during the election, the office of the Attorney General received information that there had been information from Sen. (Russell) Ruderman (D-Puna) that some people on the Big Island were not able to vote. We needed to get information to confirm or corroborate that somewhat vague allegation, because there were no numbers mentioned,” Attorney General David Louie told KHON2.
“Civil defense was unable to confirm or corroborate that. They indicated that the polling places were still open in that area. We did this with the corporation counsel on the Big Island,” Louie continued. “Because there was no objective evidence at that time, and the corporation counsel had checked with the County of Hawaii Civil Defense, the decision was made that there was insufficient evidence to do anything such as extending voting hours. We were not able to confirm that there was any objective evidence that voters’ right to vote was being substantially impaired.”
Now that those polls have closed, state law has no remedies for those storm-affected voters, short of them having to file legal challenges at the state Supreme Court. Lawmakers could address many of the gaps in state election law, but they’re in a race against time.
“We should assess it and if we need to, we can go into a special session to square it up, to make sure it’s constitutionally sound and do right by the voters of Puna,” said special session advocate Rep. Marcus Oshiro.
KHON2 asked, what exactly would they focus on fixing in a special session that would be retroactive to this election?
“There are several things. There is a question of whether there are some voters who may have been disenfranchised by being outside the boundaries of the precincts. That’s one thing,” Oshiro said. “There are also those who may have not been able to attend the polls that were open on Saturday because of the storm-related damages. And, of course, those that were told not to attend the polls on Saturday, that you were going to vote by absentee ballots, that’s how you’re going to participate.”
KHON2 asked if the governor would be willing to call a session, but his spokesperson deferred to the lawmakers saying, “The legislature has the power to call a special session under the constitution.”
Lawmakers would have to round up 17 Senate and 34 House members willing to do it, and they’d need five days to move any bills through.
Meanwhile: Anger Boils in Puna as Nago Changes Election Three Times in Three Days
read ... Special Session to Fix Puna Vote?
Nago's Elections Office 'Finds' 800 New Absentee Votes on Maui
KHON: Election officials say they just discovered that a card containing 800 mail-in ballots from Maui had not been counted. The card was never lost, it just did not transmit correctly, officials said.
The additional votes could affect the outcome of two Maui races: State Senate District 6 and State House District 9.
“I’m stunned, I’m really stunned,” said U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. “I can’t imagine that with everything we’ve seen happen here, that in addition to that, there are votes that haven’t been counted on Maui, and the question that a lot of people of probably asking is, where else and did their vote count?”
“This is appalling and outrageous,” U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said in a statement. “It is unacceptable that the Office of Elections failed to count these ballots on Maui, and the voters of Hawai‘i are entitled to an explanation of how this occurred. We need to understand what measures will be taken to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.” ...
Here is the final tally of votes that need to be counted: 1,496 mailed or early walk-in, 1,508 in-person Friday, 12 absentee ballots that were dropped off in-person Friday, and 800 uncounted ballots from Maui....
read ... Nago at Work
Nago's Elections Office Can't Even Make One Precinct Work Smoothly
WHT: ...Some time before 11 a.m., elections workers noted that line for voters from Hawaiian Paradise Park had gotten too long, and they opted to add eight more machines. But in doing so, they were forced to shut the system down to connect the new machines.
An election troubleshooter reported that the line of voters was slowed down for between 15 and 20 minutes, but some people leaving the polls said they had waited much longer. One woman said that the line for Hawaiian Paradise Park hadn’t moved for about 45 minutes.
An election worker reported that at least three voters had walked away. At 11:15 a.m., approximately 125 people were waiting in the Hawaiian Paradise Park line.
Keaau resident Alan Rudo emailed Stephens Media Hawaii saying he “gave up trying to vote today in the primary.”
“First drove to polling station to learn they closed it and had to go to Pahoa, only to find two-plus hour wait, electronic only voting, super hot inside and then machines went down. Whoʻs bright idea was this? Many walked away,” he wrote.
2012: Secret Letters Show Nago Timed Attack on Hilo Election Office with Workers Planning Sickout
read ... Nothing to see here
Tainted Schatz Celebrates at HGEA HQ
BIVN: The HGEA office building on Manono Street in Hilo played the role of Honolulu campaign headquarters for one night, as U.S. Senator Brian Schatz stopped in to celebrate his primary election victory following a special election in Puna....
Today’s activity at Keonopoko Elementary School gave Schatz a total of 115,401 votes (48.5% among Democrats), which was enough to defeat Representative Colleen Hanabusa who ended up with 113,632 (47.8%).
The final precinct report for the Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center (04-01) tallied 469 votes for Schatz (56.8%) and 341 for Hanabusa (41.3%). The percentages are similar to the absentee walk-in numbers – cast in the days before the storm – for the same precinct: 139 for Schatz and 97 for Hanabusa. Same could be said for the Mail-In Absentee Ballots. Schatz: 355 (54.9%), Hanabusa 260 (40.2%)
The final precinct report for Keonepoko (04-02) had Hanabusa with 252 (50.7%) over Schatz with 233 (46.9%) Hanabusa also had more walk-in absentee votes (33 to 18) and mail in votes, 143 to 112.
read ... Schatz HGEA
Nago's Long Record of Disasters: