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Sen. Brian Schatz and wife Linda Kwok greet crowd on primary night August 8, 2014
So come Friday, Hawaii will finally get it's Democratic nominee and next U.S. Senator:

US Sen. Brian Schatz speaks to supporters at his campaign headquarters, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 in Honolulu. Schatz took a slim lead late Saturday, but the race remained too close to call. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
A special election for two precincts in the storm-ravaged Puna district of Hawaii for the Democratic primary between Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has been scheduled for Friday.

The announcement, made by Hawaii election officials according to Hawaii News Now, is a result of voters in those precincts being unable to vote because of Hurricane Iselle. - TPM, 8/12/14

The remaining precincts contain 8,200 votes, enough to to possibly decide who the Democratic nominee will be. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D. HI) sounds both nervous and channeling her inner conspiracy theorist:

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Democrat, from Hawaii's 1st district, talks to former Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano, right, at her campaign headquarters Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, in Honolulu. Hanabusa is locked in a tight race with incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz in the state's Primary Election. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)
"There are irregularities that have occurred in terms of just access, and I'm hoping that the Office of Elections will look at it," Hanabusa said according to Politico on Monday.

Hanabusa's comments come as she trails Schatz by a small margin. As of Monday, Schatz was leading Hanabusa by just 1,635 votes, too close for many to call the race. Now the focus in the Democratic primary has fallen onto a pair of precincts in the Puna District of Hawaii, where some voters were unable to vote because of the storm. There are enough registered voters there to flip the lead in Hanabusa's favor but she would have to do especially well in those precincts for that to happen.

"We've got a lot of people coming up to us saying, 'We couldn't get out to vote but they didn't close us down," Hanabusa said. "We have a lot of people who are talking about the election because they felt in fact they were disenfranchised." - TPM, 8/12/14

It sounds to me like Hanabusa knows she's going to lose and is complaining about "voting irregularities" very much like loser Tea Party State Senator Chris McDaniel (R. MS) after failing to unseat incumbent Senator Thad Cochran (R. MS) in the GOP primary. Knowing the Hanabusa is nervous make me optimistic about Schatz sealing his victory but we have to make sure those voters get out for him. Luckily Democracy For America is helping out with those efforts:
Wow. Did you see the razor-thin U.S. Senate primary election results over the weekend?

With all but two precincts counted, Brian Schatz -- a critical progressive Senator from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party -- has a narrow 1,635 vote lead over Colleen Hanabusa, a corporate Democrat trying to unseat Schatz from representing Hawai'i in the senate.

Here's the catch: Those two remaining precincts still haven't voted yet. Because of storm damage from a hurricane that hit Hawai'i right before the election, the state is allowing 8,000 voters to submit absentee ballots in the coming days.

Those voters will decide whether Brian Schatz continues to stand alongside Elizabeth Warren to fight for progressive values, or if he's replaced by a corporate Democrat who we can't trust on the issues that matter most. There's going to be an all-out fight for those final votes. We have to win them.

DFA is mobilizing to help make sure Brian Schatz wins those two precincts. Will you donate $3 to help get out the vote and put Brian Schatz over the top?

Brian Schatz is a strong supporter of protecting and expanding Social Security benefits. His opponent, Colleen Hanabusa, voted for the Simpson-Bowles plan that would have cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Schatz's support for expanding Social Security is a big reason why he is leading so far in the election returns.That's why this race in Hawai'i is so important. If we can help Schatz win these last two precincts, we can show Democrats across America that protecting and expanding Social Security is good politics as well as good policy.

We have just a few weeks to secure just two more precincts for a progressive hero -- or risk losing them to a corporate Democrat who we can't rely on to protect Social Security. Donate $3 today to help Brian Schatz win this critical race for the U.S. Senate!

Thank you for helping a progressive leader,

- Charles

Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director
Democracy for America

Click here to contribute to DFA's efforts to secure Schatz's victory:

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 07:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders, Climate Hawks, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, LGBT Rights are Human Rights, Firearms Law and Policy, Pushing back at the Grand Bargain, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, Kossacks for Marriage Equality, Youth Kos 2.0, LGBT Kos Community, In Support of Labor and Unions, Military Community Members of Daily Kos, Milk Men And Women, and Native American Netroots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for your great coverage of (7+ / 0-)

    this and other races.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 07:51:30 AM PDT

  •  I hope volunteers make sure that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Losty, Mopshell

    there is no way to call for voter irregularities because of unjust access.

    I wonder how they do their GOTV engagements happen in those two districts. I remember having driven through the area and if there would be enough volunteers to drive through the streets and knock on the doors, I could imagine it would help.

    Any ideas what in practical terms ActBlue money is used for with regards to this primary?

    We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

    by mimi on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 08:29:02 AM PDT

    •  I'm just guessing here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, ColoTim, Mopshell

      but if I were doing it, I would focus on making personal contacts to make sure every one of my supporters knows what they need to do to vote -- when, where, how -- and has a ride to the polls. That's always crucial, but in an irregular emergency situation like this, and voting on an oddball day, it's especially important.

  •  My big complaint about the Democracy for (4+ / 0-)

    America E-mail was that it appealed essentially to self interest, focusing only on Social Security.

    It is true that self-interest can often, or at least one would think should, drive voting, but Hanabusa's vote to gut the EPA is far more troubling - and important.

    A focus on Schatz's commitment to fight catastrophic climate change, contrasted with Hanabusa's active role in fighting against implementing and enforcing environmental regulations, in my opinion would have been more effective in getting out the vote.

    Particularly in the Puna district, a hotbed of environmental activism, and in light of the double whammy of Hurricane Iselle and another blowout at Puna Geothermal Venture forcing a major, if voluntary, evacuation. Two local environmental disasters, right in the critical precincts, during the election and an anti-environment candidate? What a golden opportunity - wasted.

    •  My gripe as a whole (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Is pretty much the same. Too much of our messaging is just too narrowly focused. Maybe the emails change the focus depending on the demographics of the recipient-- but while that might be a more effective method of campaigning, it raises a host of other less savory issues.

      What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

      by equern on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 11:18:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess I'm suggesting that they focus MORE (0+ / 0-)

        on the demographics - using the issues important in that particular locality to motivate people, rather than only the generic "Save Social Security!". As important as that particular issue is, I get several E-mails a day on the subject, and have for years. An appeal narrowly focused on Lower Puna, the actual precincts being contested, could be far more effective.

  •  I see that Schatz was in one of the districts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, ColoTim, Mopshell

    helping with the hurricane relief.

    To me that's what the candidates should be doing(and maybe Hanabusa is doing the same too).

    Focus on helping the people and let the election results fall as they may.

  •  For these voters in Puna (0+ / 0-)

    this situation should confirm just how critically important their votes are! They will ultimately decide who wins this race. If ever anyone needed an obvious illustration of "yes, your vote counts!" they need only point to Puna.

    Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

    by Mopshell on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 02:36:25 PM PDT

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