(CNN) – It will be a very delicate task: How to seek votes from voters coping with damaged homes, downed trees, power outages and water shortages.
Yet that task awaits the two candidates in Hawaii's Democratic Senate primary as their race lies deadlocked and the majority of the votes they'll need to win lie in an area hit hard by a weekend storm.
On Sunday, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa are left to consider what to do next after their contest remained too close to call after Saturday's primary. With 99% of the vote in, Schatz leads Hanabusa a margin of less than 1%.
Victory will likely come from one damaged district. Storm damage prompted Hawaii election officials to close two polling places - in the Puna district on Hawaii's Big Island - from Saturday voting. The affected stations were the Hawaiian Paradise Community Center and the Keonepoko Elementary School.
Some 8,000 voters were affected. Though some of them voted early, others did not. The exact numbers are unclear. Yet Hawaii election officials have said ballots would be sent to those who did not vote early and could not vote Saturday. Officials say those voters will have an unspecified number of days to return their votes.
One central question hovers over the race: With such a razor-thin margin between them, upping the need for every vote, will both candidates go to the affected areas to campaign?
Sen. Schatz is visiting the Big Island on Monday, according to his communications director Meaghan Smith.
"The people of Puna are still recovering and I'm going to do my level best to help in any way possible," Schatz said in a statement. "I'm working with civil defense to bring federal resources to the Big Island for the recovery immediately. There are downed trees, power outages, and urgent water shortages and we've all got to kokua as a community to make sure everybody gets back on their feet."
As for his opponent's plans to visit the Big Island, Hanabusa told CNN affiliate KITV: "We'll find out how it's going to work. But I'm sure that we are going to be there."
"You are relying on…the Big Island, no matter what the other counts can be, because of the fact that, let's face it, they have enough votes to have affect the outcome," Hanabusa said. "It's not over. And it's not going to be over."
During a late-night speech to supporters over the weekend, Schatz joked about his nervous energy "in case this election comes down to 11 votes or something like that."
Noting the power outages, downed trees, urgent water shortages and overall need for support, Schatz said, "This is a humanitarian situation right now."
"So our hearts and our thoughts are with the people of the Big Island … the people who are still in recovery may not be even able to watch returns or think about an election because they're thinking about how they're going to survive."
When asked about the emphasis on direct voter outreach on the island – urged by Schatz's supporters - Smith told CNN on Sunday, "His supporters were of course saying, you know, when it comes down to a small area, that yeah, it comes down to handshakes, it comes down to personal contact, it comes down to conversations with your neighbors and that's what our campaign has been about from day one."
The winner of the Democratic primary will go on to face Republican businessman Cam Cavasso in the general election.