Puna, Hawaii voters not able to cast their ballots in the Aug. 9 primary went to the polls on Friday to complete the statewide electoral process, but before secondary voting even began a surprising new discovery was made. Some 800 votes from Maui were “found” by election officials during the last week, somehow left uncounted during the original tabulation process. These votes, too, were added to the weekend count.
The voters eligible to participate Friday could only possible change one outcome, that of the tight Democratic US Senate nomination campaign between appointed Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI-1). Going into the secondary voting, Schatz held a 1,635-vote lead. At this point, the preliminary final count, including the newly added ballots, actually shows Schatz expanding his lead 134 votes to a spread of 1,769.
Does this mean the contest is finally decided? Possibly, but it depends on how far Rep. Hanabusa wants to go in legally challenging the results. The fact that election officials allowed the original counting to commence, knowing that not all eligible voters had the opportunity to participate, and then extended the voting period after the original results were made public may be cause for a Hanabusa complaint. Her argument could be that voting behavior may Continue reading >