An answer to the question “Who won Hawaii’s U.S. Senate race?” is likely to come Friday, according the State Elections Office.
The plan is to run an election at Keonepoko Elementary School for the two Puna precincts on the Big Island that were closed because of Tropical Storm Iselle.
The results would be announced the same evening as the election.
“I don’t think it would take that long with just two precincts,” said Office of Elections spokesman Rex Quidilla.
Friday is a state holiday — Statehood Day. The polling hours will be 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, the incumbent, is in a nail-biter with U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa for the seat left empty with the death of Dan Inoye in December 2012. Both candidates are in Puna campaigning and offering humanitarian aid to those still in need of help after Tropical Storm Iselle swept through last week.
Chief Election Officer Scott Nago made the decision after consultation with the Hawaii Attorney General, Department of Defense and the Office of the County Clerk.
“Only voters who are assigned to Hawaiian Paradise Community Center (04-01) and Keoneopoko Elementary School (04-02), who did not previously vote by absentee mail ballot or at an early vote site will be allowed to vote,” according to the Elections Office.
There are 8,255 registered voters in the two precincts. Quidilla said he did not know how many had previously mailed in absentee ballots.
The Elections Office initially considered mailing out ballots to the voters affected by the precinct closures. More than 23 percent of Big Island voters voted absentee.
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