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State taking over in Hawaii County for general election

LAST UPDATED: 12:25 p.m. HST, Oct 02, 2012

2012 September 21 CTY - Jamae Kawauchi, Hawaii County Clerk. HSA PHOTO BY GEORGE F. LEE

The state Office of Elections said at a press conference this morning that it would be taking over the operations of the November general election in Hawaii County because of a lack of confidence in the county clerk. 

The state will administer the operation of polling places, the control center, and the county elections office accounting center. Hawaii County will continue to handle voter registration and absentee voting. The state office of elections informed Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi this morning that it would take this unprecedented move. 

State chief election officer Scott Nago said in a statement the Office of Elections would be rescinding its delegation of state responsibilities to Hawaii County.

“We believe that this decision best ensures a successful general election in the County of Hawaii,” Nago said. “It will allow the county to focus its resources exclusively on voter registration and absentee voting.”

According to the elections office, the move is meant to address the issues of polling place communication and timely delivery of supplies to polling places. Nago emphasized in his statement that the change will be transparent to Big Island voters and poll workers.


» Office of the County Clerk | Hawaii County

The state has located a control center and a counting center in the Hilo State Office Building. Ballot Operations Section Head Lori Tomczyk will be the State’s lead administrator. In primary election, Tomczyk provided support for state election operations in Hilo.

Missteps and irregularities in the primary election led to 13 precincts opening late, prompting Gov. Neil Abercrombie to issue a proclamation to extend Hawaii County's voting hours by 90 minutes. The move resulted in a statewide delay in the release of initial primary election results.

Prior to the takeover announcement, Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi told the Star-Advertiser in a story published today that while she accepted some responsibility for the handling of the primary election, she could not "accept complete responsibility." She also said she was pressing ahead and that the general election on Nov. 6 would go smoothly.

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false wrote:
The "state" must be desperate to "count" votes for Mazie.
on October 2,2012 | 11:35AM
loquaciousone wrote:
That's false false.
on October 2,2012 | 11:37AM
Larry01 wrote:
Geez, really? You really should try helping out during an election, either at a polling place, or at the counting center. It's an eye-opening experience as to how much effort goes on for both grateful and ungrateful people of this state.
on October 2,2012 | 04:14PM
copperwire9 wrote:
That's pathetic.
on October 2,2012 | 04:23PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
This, on the heels of a report that Kawauchi is confident of readiness. Laugh or cry, take you choice.
on October 2,2012 | 11:45AM
Anonymous wrote:
This paper should focus more attention on the Hawai`i island mayoral race instead of the continual articles about the incompetent clerk. The race involves the current mayor Billy Kenoi, the state's most compelling young leader, and Harry Kim, another of the many has been politicians in this state who can't resist clinging to power and who do not understand the need for the emergence of modern leaders.
on October 2,2012 | 11:52AM
Descartes22 wrote:
I posted that 11:52 comment. Don't know that Anonymous person.
on October 2,2012 | 11:53AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Dr Jekyll had a second persona call Mr. Hyde. Say hello to your second persona. The parallel is amazing. Mr. Hyde had something to hide and Anonymous was trying to hide.
on October 2,2012 | 03:31PM
kainalu wrote:
Scott Nago and the state office of elections grand standing. Some of us recognize.
on October 2,2012 | 11:56AM
PCWarrior wrote:
If the chick ain't kosher, then why is she still employed? No can do? Get rid of her. No get rid of her? Then let her do her job. This state is famous for paying people to do nothing.
on October 2,2012 | 12:35PM
what wrote:
In Hawaii, nobody gets fired, they get "suspended with pay.", or "on leave with pay." So it's probably better to keep her working so we can get something for our money.
on October 2,2012 | 12:46PM
Larry01 wrote:
State sees a problem and is taking the responsibility. If that's grandstanding, then I welcome it!
on October 2,2012 | 04:15PM
copperwire9 wrote:
You've obviously been asleep since before the primary.
on October 2,2012 | 04:25PM
Hahaione2000 wrote:
unbelievable how much confidence she has in herself. she is delusional.
on October 2,2012 | 01:09PM
poidragon wrote:
she's got a job and is getting paid! So delusional or not, she's got a job, do you?
on October 2,2012 | 01:51PM
Ripoff wrote:
Slap in the face to Dominic Yagong who appointed her after he tried to "fire" Elections Administrator Pat Nakamoto and Senior Elections Clerk Shyla Ayau. Now, both Nakamoto and Ayau and are suing the County for defimation...what do you have to say now Mr. Yagong? Can't help the "person" running for your seat now huh? lol
on October 2,2012 | 01:13PM
Hahaione2000 wrote:
this, just hours after Jamae Kawauchi's article. love is in the air!
on October 2,2012 | 01:27PM
poidragon wrote:
If the state office of elections is taking over the operations for the Hawaii county elections,then they should be shouldering the financial burden also!
on October 2,2012 | 01:50PM
nomerod wrote:
After everything that's been reported, the State still believes that the County of Hawaii will have a fair race with Nago in charge, are you serious?? I'll take my chances with the County Clerk!!
on October 2,2012 | 08:42PM
cigaripo wrote:
Would it be that the State, to ensure a smooth and safe election were made to do this? Kawauchi's arrogance and incompetence would make one question her confidence in having a smoothly run election. She also was confident in the primary and look what happened. I'm sure the State must have some feedback from the Big Island, that made them uncomfortable to let her handle the General, thereby taking over the Election to ensure all the voters have no problems. Bottom line is there's no confidence if Kawauchi's to run it...can't cross her T's and dot her I's if don't have experience and don't ask for assistance.
on October 2,2012 | 09:34PM
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