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Hawaiians trooped out to vote Saturday despite flash floods and severe weather warnings after state officials decided to stare down Tropical Storm Iselle and Hurricane Julio and hold elections anyway. Voting began at 7 a.m. (1 p.m. ET) across the state even though two polling places on the Big Island had to be closed because of storm damage, NBC station KHNL of Honolulu reported.
Some voters may have been eager to get outside. Hawaii Electric Light said more than 9,000 customers remained without power in numerous cities and towns after Iselle, the first tropical storm to hit Hawaii in 22 years, glanced by the islands without causing any major injuries, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. Iselle has passed and has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. Julio was downgraded late Saturday to a Category 1 hurricane with top winds about 92 mph. It's expected to pass about 160 miles north of the islands at its closest point early Sunday. Residents and business should "watch for developments with this system closely," the National Weather Service said.