Hawaii judge: Elections will happen Friday

A Hawaii judge has ruled that elections in two remaining precincts that had to cancel their primaries will take place on Friday, rebutting a request from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's (D-Hawaii) campaign for a delay until they have recovered from the aftermath of Hurricane Iselle.

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The ruling sets the stage for a primary in less than 24 hours in an area where many still lack power and water.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) leads Hanabusa by 1,635 votes after last Saturday's primaries. The two precincts have more than 8,000 voters between them, though some voters already cast their ballots. To win, Hanabusa would need nearly two-thirds of the outstanding Democratic vote, better than she did in any other precincts statewide.

Her campaign had sought not only to delay the precincts' vote but to reopen voting for nearby precincts where voters were recovering from the storm and didn't have a chance to vote.

Schatz's campaign quickly sent out a statement downplaying the political importance of the decision.

"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," his campaign said. 

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