We had hoped to begin analyzing early election returns shortly–and reporting on their reaction at various candidate forums around Maui–but it looks like election problems on Hawaii Island may delay that a bit.
According to an emergency proclamation issued by Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, “more than half” of the polling locations on Hawaii Island failed to open by 7am this morning as required by law. As a result, he has ordered all polling locations (which are now apparently open) on that island to remain open until 7:30pm. As a result, the state Elections Office won’t announce any returns until at least that time (click here to read those returns when they start coming in).
As Hawaii News Now’s Keoki Kerr reported this morning, this actually isn’t surprising, given the problems plaguing the Big Island’s elections office:
“Two of five full-time election staffers in the Hawaii County elections office went out on sick leave this week and a temporary employee resigned Wednesday, calling the office ‘dysfunctional,’ just a few days before Saturday’s primary election.”
Specifically, Kerr reported, Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi, “who was appointed to the Big Island clerk’s job in Dec. 2010, has not worked an election before. She closed her office without warning for a day last month to audit voter registration rolls and did not respond to state elections officials’ requests for a detailed update for one week.”
So… yeah. We’re still having an election today, but those wanting to find out who wins will probably have to stay up pretty late tonight. Which is fine, because there’s supposed to be a kick-ass Perseids meteor shower after midnight.
Photo: Smithsonian/Wikimedia Commons