It’s hard to know for sure, but we think that U.S. Senator Brian Schatz has won his Democratic Primary race against challenger Colleen Hanabusa. That’s what all the papers were reporting after the Aug. 15 special election in hurricane-ravaged Puna, but they were also reporting that the state Office of Elections suddenly found 800 ballots from Maui County that had previously gone uncounted.
“Hawaii elections officials say 800 uncounted ballots have been discovered during a routine audit of the primary election,” Civil Beat reported the night of the special election. “The ballots are from Maui and were transmitted to the elections office on Aug. 9 but inadvertently not counted, according to elections office spokesman Rex Quidilla.”
So apparently the error lay with the state, rather than the county. I don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse. No word yet on whether Hanabusa will challenge the results (she had attempted to stop Friday’s vote, but that was overruled). For his part, Schatz seemed particularly angry.
“”This is appalling and outrageous,” he said in an Aug. 15 news release. “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.”
And we wonder why election turnout (41.5 percent in Hawaii, 33.1 percent in Maui County) is so abysmal.
Click here for the final, final Primary Election results.
Oh, by the way, in an apparently unrelated development, the Hawaii State Elections Commission is looking for a new Maui Commissioner. The application deadline is Aug. 29. Click here to learn more.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons