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Commission allows elections chief Nago to keep his job

By B.J. Reyes

LAST UPDATED: 12:41 p.m. HST, Jan 25, 2013

Embattled state Chief Election Officer Scott Nago will remain in his job, the state Elections Commission ruled today, after deliberating whether he should be fired over ballot shortages that led to long lines and frustrated voters on election day.

“We felt there was a series of mistakes, certainly, but none of them rose to the level where he would be dismissed because of those,” Elections Commission Chairman William Marston said. “There are some things that need to be fixed but they will be.”

The decision comes on the heels of an investigation by the commission into the circumstances that led to shortages on Nov. 6. The investigation focused on the calculation for the number of ballots needed, the availability of ballots and delays in getting extra ballots to voting sites.

Nago said previously his office has worked to identify and correct the problems that led to the ballot shortages. He said an incorrect formula was used to determine the number of ballots needed and check and balances to insure the proper formula was used had failed.

Shortages led to long lines and frustrated voters who either endured long waits or walked away completely.

The fiasco prompted Gov. Neil Abercrombie to call for an investigation by Attorney General David Louie. The Abercrombie also has proposed that the state move to all-mail elections in the future.

At a November commission meeting, several testifiers urged the commission to fire Nago.

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