The Washington Post

Judge rejects Hanabusa’s request to delay Friday election

Democratic nominee for governor David Ige, left, U.S. Rep Colleen Hanabusa, center and Hawaii Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, attend the Democratic Unity Breakfast, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 in Honolulu. The breakfast is traditionally held after Hawaii elections and is attended by both winners as well as losers. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

A Hawaii judge has rejected Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's request to delay Friday's election in two Big Island precincts that were unable to vote in Saturday's primary.

Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura ruled Thursday that "the court is not supposed to interfere with an ongoing election process even if it is unconstitutional. So the court is constrained not to grant the injunctive relief," according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hanabusa trails Sen. Brian Schatz by fewer than 1,700 votes in the most hotly contested Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in a generation. She filed a lawsuit Wednesday arguing that voters in the two Puna precincts have not had enough time to recover from Tropical Storm Iselle.

The impact of Iselle prevented voters in the Puna precincts from voting on Saturday. After first saying those voters would be able to cast absentee ballots, state elections officials decided to hold an in-person vote on Friday.

Schatz campaign manager Clay Schroers said in a statement after the court's decision that "Senator Schatz continues to focus his energies on helping the people of Puna to recover, and that's what he will do on an ongoing basis. His commitment to recovery in Puna extends beyond the election.”

Hanabusa's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

With some 6,800 votes up for grabs in the two precincts, Hanabusa will have to win by a wide margin with high turnout to make up her deficit. Turnout was low on Saturday and is expected to be low on Friday, compounding her challenge.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Democrats debate Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
What to expect tonight
Tonight's debate is likely to focus on the concerns of African American and Latino voters. Clinton has focused in recent days on issues like gun control, criminal-sentencing reform, and the state of drinking water in Flint, Mich. Sanders has been aggressively moving to appeal to the same voters, combining his core message about economic unfairness with his own calls to reform the criminal-justice system.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heading into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
Fact Checker
Trump’s claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion
The billionaire's claim is highly dubious. Based on the costs of the Israeli security barrier (which is mostly fence) and the cost of the relatively simple fence already along the U.S.-Mexico border, an $8 billion price tag is simply not credible.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.