Polling place to open in Pahoa on election day

The state Office of Elections announced Friday that a consolidated polling place will be held at the Pahoa Community Center for primary election day next month.

Early walk-in voting also will be provided at that location from July 30-Aug. 9.

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The office previously said polling places for precincts 04-03 and 04-04 would be closed because of the ongoing Kilauea eruption in lower Puna with residents instead having to vote by mail absentee. The primary election is held Aug. 11.

In response, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii threatened a lawsuit if a polling place wasn’t provided. Today was the deadline for the state to respond.

Ballots to the 6,070 affected voters were mailed late last month. With many people evacuated or have lost their homes, residents either had to update their mailing address.

Pat Nakamoto, Hawaii County elections administrator, said mail to inaccessible or destroyed homes were being delivered to the Pahoa Post Office unless another address was provided.

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The polling place will be open for voters in both of the affected precincts.

The precincts incorporate Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates, Kapoho, Kalapana, Pahoa village, Ainaloa and a portion of Orchidland Estates.

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