New voting plan gets pushback from some Puna residentsUPDATED 7:10 PM HST Aug 12, 2014Video Transcript
A day after we showed you those HECO trucks being loaded onto the barges -- heading to the Big Island to help restore power to customers affected by Tropical Storm Iselle. And here were those trucks and crews today. As of around midday, an estimated 68-hundred... or about eight percent of customers were without power... down from an estimated 81- hundred yesterday. As thousands of East Hawaii island residents remain without electricity ......the concern grows over food spoilage. If you are receiving federal SNAP benefits---former ly known as food stamps--- you may request reimbursement for food that has gone bad because of the storm related outages. The deadline to file a claim is August 20th--- that's next week Wednesday. For more information call 981-7288 Pushback is mounting over a plan to have Puna residents vote on Friday. It's coming from all directions and it's likely a legal challenge will decide whether or not the election goes forward. KITV4's Catherine Cruz shows us... Two small precincts are suddenly generating ALL SORTS of interest. 16-22 29-39 51-58 Keonepoko elementary school is still on schedule to hold a two-precinct election Friday... It's the same place where voters were turned away Saturday because of storm damage. The new election plan is getting mixed reviews from Puna residents. Larry Castro can't wait to vote. - Larry Castro 33:11 - 33: 16 -"We need to get it done so we can get the other stuff finished up. There is alot of work to be done," But others think its crazy and insensitive to expect storm victims to put their immediate needs aside and get out to vote. - REX TAPE Kate Harrison 37: 30 - 37:40 -"People are just now getting out. Finding ice packs for people who are insulin-depend is more imporatant than holding an election for those who cant even drive their cars or get out of their neighborhoods." GOP chairwoman Pat Saiki is from Hilo and can't believe the state is asking the Puna people to come out to vote so soon. - PAT Saiki 5:43 ?? What's the rush? Let people recover from the devastation of this hurricane," - BUTT WITH Pat Saiki 9:03- 9:17 - "They deserve our attention. They deserve our help. They deserve our consideration and not have the state impose something on them at a time when actually we should be helping them," The head of the Democratic Party says many members think its outrageous to be asking too much, too soon. Stephanie Ohigashi PHONER :43 36- - "This kind of confusing communications to a district already affected by Hurricane Iselle having little or no electricity, cable internet and maybe cellphone raises the issue of adequate notice and accessability.- 43:48 -We don't want voters to be disenfranchised. We want voters to be able to cast their vote like they planned to originally." - 43: 5-6 - Ohigashi isn't asking for Friday's election to be halted. She hopes election officials will decide to offer absentee balloting as an option for those residents who may have made travel plans over this holiday weekend. It is the high stakes U.S senate race that hangs in the balance. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa who at this point is trailing Senator Brian Shatz is considering a legal challenge. State Representative Faye Hanohano tells KITV if Hanabusa files, she'll ask to join in. There's no time to lose if the courts are to decide whether to issue a TRO. Back to you-- Paula--Yunji?