The Office of Elections has confirmed that the Primary Election for the two precincts in Puna will be held on Friday.
Last Saturday, the voters at those two precincts could not vote due to storm damage from Iselle. Originally, the state Office of Elections said the election for the two affected precincts would be done entirely by mail.
"We've been informed that all the roads or major thoroughfares are now open in both subdivisions," Chief Elections Officer Scott Nago said Monday. "It allows us to conduct the election sooner than by mail."
The poll will be held at Keonepoko Elementary School. The poll hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Only voters who are assigned to Hawaiian Paradise Community Center (04-01) and Keoneopoko Elementary School (04-02), who did not previously vote by absentee mail ballot or at an early vote site will be allowed to vote.
About 82 percent of the registered voters in the Puna District have not yet voted in the 2014 Primary Election due to Iselle, according to numbers from Hawaii County.
Hawaii County officials say 1,448 registered voters, or 18 percent of the registered voters, in the Puna District voted early or absentee in the Primary Election.
That leaves 6,821 voters who have not yet voted in the Primary Election.
The U.S. Senate Democratic race in the Primary Election are deadlocked between incumbent Brian Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa. Only 1,635 votes separate the two candidates with Schatz holding the slim lead.
Hanabusa responded late Monday afternoon to the news about the walk-in voting site:
"It is disappointing that the State Office of Elections reversed course and decided to hold walk in voting on Friday. A lot of voters in those two precincts are without power and water and many of the roads are blocked with debris, isolating large pockets of the community," said Hanabusa. "It is unrealistic to think people struggling to find basic necessities and get out of their homes will have the ability to go to the polls Friday. There is very limited electricity and phone service in some of these areas and it is unclear how the state will notify people that there will be a vote. Our campaign is currently reviewing all legal options at this time."
Sen. Schatz says he is not commenting on the decision to hold the vote on Friday.
App users, click here for detailed numbers in the U.S. Senate Democratic race.