Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), who is trailing incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz by a slim margin in the Hawaii Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, warned of voting irregularities in the precincts that have been hit by Hurricane Iselle last week.
“There are irregularities that have occurred in terms of just access, and I’m hoping that the Office of Elections will look at it,” Hanabusa said according to Politico on Monday.
Hanabusa’s comments come as she trails Schatz by a small margin. As of Monday, Schatz was leading Hanabusa by just 1,635 votes, too close for many to call the race. Now the focus in the Democratic primary has fallen onto a pair of precincts in the Puna District of Hawaii, where some voters were unable to vote because of the storm. There are enough registered voters there to flip the lead in Hanabusa’s favor but she would have to do especially well in those precincts for that to happen.
“We’ve got a lot of people coming up to us saying, ‘We couldn’t get out to vote but they didn’t close us down,” Hanabusa said. “We have a lot of people who are talking about the election because they felt in fact they were disenfranchised.”
Both candidates have been in the Puna District helping residents recover for the storm. They have both said that the top priority is recovery.