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Amid Iselle cleanup, Hawaiians set to vote in today's primary election

ElectionsPoliticsDaniel InouyeNeil A. AbercrombieColleen HanabusaGovernmentNational Weather Service
Amid Iselle cleanup, Hawaii voters were prepared to go ahead with Saturday's primary

Amid cleanup from Tropical Storm Iselle and more wind and rain expected from Hurricane Julio on Sunday, Hawaiian election officials scrambled Saturday morning for the state’s primary election to go forth as planned.
 
All but two polling stations in the state will open as planned.
 
The two closed stations are in precincts where "there are miles of roads that are obstructed" and power outages, Atty. Gen. David Louie told reporters Friday. The roughly 8,000 affected voters will be able to cast absentee ballots later.

Hawaii Electric Light said about 15,000 customers on the Big Island spent Friday night without power.
 
"I think we've come through in great fashion," Gov. Neil Abercrombie told reporters Friday evening.

Hurricane Julio, which was downgraded to a Category 2 storm on Friday, is expected to veer north of Hawaii on Sunday, bringing rain and winds to the Big Island, according to the National Weather Service. As of early Saturday morning Julio had sustained maximum winds of 100 mph. It is 495 miles east of Hilo, moving at 16 mph.

There were no warnings in effect on any of the islands.

Louie said he did not anticipate any other problems with voting Saturday.

Abercrombie faces a strong challenge on Saturday's ballot from state Sen. David Ige.

In another high profile race, incumbent U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz faces U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to fill the remainder of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye's term. The race divided Hawaiian Democrats after Abercrombie nominated Schatz -- who was his lieutenant governor at the time -- to replace Inouye after his death in 2012, even though Inouye had said he wanted Hanabusa to succeed him.

Election officials had been encouraging people to vote early, especially in light of Iselle and Julio, but officials said they did not yet have an estimate of how many people voted early.

Times staff writer Kurtis Lee contributed to this report.

Follow @msrikris for the latest national news.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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ElectionsPoliticsDaniel InouyeNeil A. AbercrombieColleen HanabusaGovernmentNational Weather Service
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