Hawaii elections officials say 800 uncounted ballots have been discovered during a routine audit of the primary election.
The ballots are from Maui and were transmitted to the elections office on Aug. 9 but inadvertently not counted, according to elections office spokesman Rex Quidilla.
The Maui ballot count will be included in the total that is expected to be released sometime around 7 p.m. tonight after voting wraps up in the two precincts in Puna that had been closed due to storm-related problems on primary day.
Neither of the candidates in the close race for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate was happy about the turn of events. U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said she was “stunned,” while Sen. Brian Schatz issued a statement calling the mistake “appalling and outrageous.”
“It is unacceptable that the Office of Elections failed to count these ballots on Maui, and the voters of Hawai‘i are entitled to an explanation of how this occurred,” the Schatz statement continued. “We need to understand what measures will be taken to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
Waiting for mom to vote at Central Middle School.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
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Patti Epler is the Editor and General Manager of Civil Beat. She's been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, primarily in Hawaii, Alaska, Washington and Arizona. You can follow her on twitter at @PattiEpler, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 808-377-0561.