Helicopters haul early ballots from Kipahulu
KIPAHULU, Maui » Voting was fairly brisk yet easy-going in an isolated east Maui region cut off from regular ground travel due to a damaged bridge and dangerous back road.
Because the bridge is unsafe, the residents here won't be able to get to their normal polling place at Hana High and Elementary School.
So county election workers flew in by helicopter to set up a polling place at the Kipahulu Triangle pavilion three days before the general election on Tuesday.
"It was successful," said John Lind, a long-time Kipahulu resident.
Kipahulu and Kaupo voters were handed ballots, which they marked, as they sat on a picnic bench at the pavilion.
One man chose to lie on the concrete floor while voting.
Nearby, a child chased an empty plastic bag twirling in the wind, a dog licked water spilled from a cup, and volunteers dispensed canned goods and bags of food flown in Friday by a National Guard helicopter.
Of the estimated 80 registered voters in the isolated area, some 34 cast their votes yesterday and five turned in their absentee ballots.
In addition, election workers have received ballots from those voting by mail and some walk-in voters at the county building, the County Clerk's office said.
The completed ballots, each sealed in an envelope, were carried by helicopter back to Kahului to be counted on election day.