UPDATE: 5pm Aug 8:  The election for the last two Puna precincts will take place 7am to 6pm this coming Friday.

Brian Schatz is working on the ground transporting ice and coolers from a pick up truck.

Meanwhile Colleen Hanabusa is in a helicopter high above the people...somewhat of an illustration of their different styles and priorities.

UPDATE: August 11 Election officials will hold a one day special election for the two storm damaged precincts in Puna on the Big Island. The polling places will be held at two TBD locations this Friday or Saturday between 7a.m. and 6 p.m.

The state Office of Elections said only 12 percent of voters in these two precincts cast advance ballots for Saturday's primary which translates to about a quarter of the voters who would be expected to vote since less that 50% of registered voters actually vote.

Good night friends.  If you want to continue watching the print outs you can keep looking here until the next print out arrives: http://hawaii.gov/...

10:12PM Clayton Hee conceded. (Lt. Gov)

Schatz is leading by 1879 votes. This election looks like it won't be called for 3 weeks.

10:04PM  5th printout all but 5 precincts reporting.

SCHATZ LEADING BY 1%  101,481 votes to 99,602

10:01PM Waiting for 4th print out.  Estimate 4,000 of the 8,000 of missing 2 precincts will vote and we may not know their totals for 21 days!

9:55PM Rep Tulsi Gabbard at Mark Takai HQ congratulating him and saying she looks forward to working with him.  Big hugs.  Sen Mazie Hirono at Takai HQ congratulating him.

9:50PM  Abercrombie is at Ige's campaign and is repeating his speech about "Oni Pa'a" (stand strong, be steadfast) for David Ige"  Ige's wife just hugged Abercrombie.  Abercrombie is now rambling on and on in his usual fashion.  Oahu is having the unity breakfast tomorrow but neighbor islands have cancelled. OMG -- Abercrombie is dominating the Ige party and won't stop talking!

9:42PM  Waiting for the 4th print out probably some time after 10pm.  Speculation is that the Schatz vs Hanabusa race might not be decided until the two missing Puna districts vote which could be days from now.

9:40PM In interview David Ige in reply to question if Neil Abercrombie came over said, "I will embrace him. He's give 40 years to Hawaii"  Both candidates ran clean campaigns.

9:33PM Pundits talking about Colleen Hanabusa leaving her seat vulnerable to Republicans.  Now that Takai has won the Democratic nomination, that seems less likely as Takai's military record meets and exceeds Djou (R) and he's better on all the issues.

9:15PM  Abercrombie upbeat and giving concession speech (I think) "One Pa'a ...Steadfast...the Queen's admonition to us....for 40 years going back to 1974 every waking breath that I've taken, every thought I had before sleeping was for Hawaii was for you. Faith and trust has been placed in me and I tried to honor that.  Any shortcomings I've had have not been a failure to give all I can every day for Hawaii"  Being very gracious.  Congratulating David Ige. Says he's going to work hard for Ige.

Takai 42.5%
Kim 27.6%
Chang 9.6%

9:08  Abercrombie has not conceeded to David Ige is being polite and saying, "It's a little early" but he is giving what is essentially a victory speech. He's thanking teachers (who were really upset at Abercrombie for letting them go without a contract for 2 years) "It's more important what you do than what you say. .. Campaigns start with friends and family first."

9:02PM 80,000 votes in. Schatz is only 11 votes behind Hanabusa

Waiting for 9pm printout.  Schatz staffer says their pollster told them that their voters would vote today and that he'll pull ahead on the 9PM print out.  Sure hope that's true!

8:19PM Mark Takai, "We still don't know what is going to happen and we're going to wait for the next printout. We worked extremely hard."  AP has already called it for Mark.

8:08PM SECOND printout
Ige 65% over 31% Abercrombie
Takai still ahead 45% to 27%
Shan Tsutsui wins Lt Gov 51% to 34% over Hee

Hanabusa still leading by 2%
HANABUSA, Colleen Wakako    43,14
SCHATZ, Brian                    41,312

8:07PM  AP has called HI-01 for Mark Takai

8:04PM  AP calls election for Ige. Pundits say public don't like "brash" personality and candidates should realize that a more humble attitude is more popular.

8:02PM Neighbor Island votes show that Ige 64% in Kaua'i (anti-Abercrombie vote) Hanabusa is well ahead of Schatz on Maui and Kaua'i tied on Big Island.  Next print out expected any minute.  Only about 18,000 more votes.

7:58PM Donna Mercado Kim, "We were not expecting this and obviously we are a little disappointed....all the candidates sort of ganged up. I'm from Kalihi and I'm a fighter." She's still got 2 years more in the State Senate.

7:52PM  Ben Cayatano (on Abercrombie), "It's over. You can't make up a 30 point lead. It's not about friendship. It's about leadership."  Pundit: "No major scandals - just personality."  They mention his initial statement, "I'm not your friend. I'm your governor."  This attitude appears to have been his downfall.

7:49PM Mark Takai says, "It's early yet. I thank everyone for hanging in there with us."

7:45PM Hanabusa's campaign guy, Peter Boylan is crowing over Abercrombie's defeat.

7:41PM Rep Tulsi Gabbard is talking about the importance of relationships and aloha in the Congress.  She knows Mark Takai well having served in the state legislature with him and also having been in the military with him.

If pundits are correct, Neil Abercrombie is going to make history going down when running for re-election as governor.  

It looks like once voters realized what Donna Mercado Kim's positions were, they flocked to Mark Takai.  Looking like the same one-two punch of Sierra Club and Vote Vets who took Tulsi Gabbard from 20 point behind to 20 points ahead will deliver the election to Mark Takai also.  Takai's campaign is expressing caution since his lead is not insurmountable.

6:56PM First Print out:  Ige 66%  Abercrombie 31%
Hanabusa 49%  Schatz 47%
Takai 44% Kim 26% Chang 10%
Tsutsui 51% Hee 34%

6:51PM All neighbor island polling places are closed. Still 10 on Oahu who are processing still.  Pundits say that if the first printout shows Ige leading Gov. Abercrombie, it will be dismal for the Governor since the walk in and absentee voters tend to vote more for incumbents.

6:48PM 8,000 voters in the Puna area of the Big Island will not vote today and their votes will be counted later.  Hurricane Iselle knocked trees and powerlines down and many voters are trapped at home without electricity.

6:37PM First print out will have all of walk in and about 60% of mail in comprising 104,000 votes.  21 polling places still open on Oahu. Expecting print out "any time now"

6:30PM: Still 27 precincts open because they are processing people who were in line at 6PM

6:25PM No results yet.  Reports are that Kaua'i is still a little stormy from Iselle.  Julio will pass 250 miles from Maui tomorrow which should be fairly uneventful except for high surf on the east and north shores.

UPDATE 6:00PM Polls have closed. We could have first print out of absentee and some early voting results as soon as 6:15...but remember that's Hawaiian time...which means it will get here when it gets here.

More below the fold....

Today is the day.  Hawai'i has a break between two hurricanes and all but two precincts are open until 6pm HST.  Voters in two precincts near Puna Big Island will be getting absentee ballots and a time extension. Elections officials will start announcing results some time after 7pm HST tonight.  (Hawai'i is currently 3 hours earlier than California)

The most important election is that for U.S. Senator.  Colleen Hanabusa (D-conservative) is primarying Brian Schatz (D-progressive).  MoveOn.org, Progressive Change Campaign, League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club are among the many grassroots organizations campaigning for Schatz.

Membership Activities
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) has over 4,400 members in Hawaii and nearly 1 million nationwide.   PCCC members contributed over $67,000 to Schatz's campaign through over 8,500 small-dollar donations -- with an average contribution of $5.89.   Over a hundred Hawaii PCCC members signed up to volunteer for Schatz’s campaign.  Hawaii PCCC members and PCCC staff joined Schatz's campaign to phone bank and contact voters.

Sierra Club members are phone banking for Schatz.

MoveOn.org has emailed its members and is making GOTV calls.

League of Conservation voters is running a TV ad.

PCCC is particularly concerned about Social Security and featured Brian Schatz at a local event calling on his opponent, Colleen Hanabusa, to support expanding Social Security benefits.  The PCCC ran online ads seen by over 2 million Hawaii voters in the final days of the election with a hard-hitting message on Social Security.

PCCC specialty is helping candidates organize and run an effective campaign.  Top PCCC staffers worked on the ground with Schatz's team to help them run a best-practices campaign.

Sierra Club also sent an organizer to Hawaii.

Can grassroots membership organizations triumph over over a corporate-sponsored candidate?  We'll know later tonight.
Mark Takai and Donna Mercado Kim are neck and neck in HI-01 race according to polls. (Polls are often as much as 20% off in Hawai'i so take this with a grain of salt) Progressive Stanley Chang is trailing (again in our notoriously unreliable polls)

With 7 candidates in the Democratic Primary and most of them pretty decent except the former front-runner Donna Mercado Kim (who would be right at home with Rick Santorum since she shares his positions on almost everything except immigration.)

The concern was that votes would split in this race and the far right, religious theocrat who voted against marriage equality (Kim) would walk away with the election.

Both Equality Hawaii and Sierra Club chose to back Mark Takai who is also backed by Vote Vets who is doing TV ads for him.

Kim has a lot of developer money and has a laughable new ad where she claims to be pro-environment and to have supported the proposed plastic bag ban.  Laughable because Kim has consistently voted against the environment and as Senate President, allowed the plastic bag ban to die in committee.

This race will be a celebration if either Mark Takai or Stanley Chang win it.

I'll be updating this dairy starting at 7pm tonight as results come in.

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