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Two Puna (Big Island, HI) precincts were hit so hard by Hurricane Iselle that they couldn't get out from their homes to vote. Sen Schatz (D-HI) and his primary challenger Colleen Hanabusa (ConservaDem-HI) are close enough in votes that the two Puna districts could theoretically change the election results.  Puna votes this Friday.

The final printout (excluding the 2 Puna precincts)
showed  Brian Schatz ahead by 1635 votes.
Schatz:   113,800 votes 48.5%
Hanabusa:  112,165 votes 47.8%

The Puna precincts have 8,255 registered voters, about 12% of whom have already voted by absentee ballot. That leaves 7264 votes in play.  Turn-out on the Big Island was 37.6%.  If we assume that the increased attention will be offset by the hurricane difficulties and leave the voting percent the same, that means an estimated 2731 votes to be made this Friday.  Hanabusa will have to get 80% of these votes in order to win.  Not too likely.  Especially since there are 200 Sierra Club members in these two precincts who will be voting for Brian Schatz.

Sen. Brian Schatz unloading supplies in Puna
Sen. Brian Schatz unloading supplies in hurricane-ravaged Puna, HI
Meanwhile both candidates are in the area.  Brian Schatz has rolled up his sleeves and is unloading ice and supplies from a pickup truck.

In a fitting contrast that serves as a meme for this election, Colleen Hanabusa is high above the hoi polloi surveying the area via helicopter.

6:50 PM PT: UPDATE:  Colleen Hanabusa, knowing she has no chance of winning, has threatened a lawsuit.  Read RLMiller's diary here.

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