VIDEO: County Clerk again on media hotseat

County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi again on hot seat in front of media

HILO, Hawaii: Once again, the Hawaii County Clerk’s office is fielding questions from media about personnel matters and the proper administration of the county elections process, after the latest rumors of firings and absentee ballot mishandling.

Clerk Jamae Kawauchi had invited media to the council chamber to discuss logistics prior to Saturday’s primary election. She also wanted to discuss how the early walk in voting – which began on July 30th – has been going so far.

But it didnt take long for reporters attending the meeting from Kona via telephone to begin asking about problems at the Kona elections office.

It was around that time that journalists in Hilo – in particular Tiffany Edwards Hunt of the Big Island Chronicle – began hammering Kawauchi on rumors that more elections staff were let go in recent days.

Over the past few months, Kawauchi has declined to answer questions on the firing – and subsequent reinstatement – of longtime elections administrator, Pat Nakamoto. Nakamoto and three other elections employees were accused of violating county alcohol policy at this warehouse on Makaala Street.

Big Island Video News has corresponded with one of the latest workers apparently let go, Leina’ala Lee, in the past… in her email, she identified herself as “Public Relations and Media” and a part of “Elections staff”. Kawauchi says that her office has never had a  staff member in charge of media relations, and would not discuss the possible termination of Lee or another temp employee based out of Kona. The latter dismissal apparently left the Kona elections office unattended.

Hunt was not happy about the news that there would not be any elections printouts for media on the night of the election, either.

Voter walk-in sites will be open daily, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., including lunch hours… all 101,000-plus registered voters on Hawaii Island can cast their vote there until the last day, which is August 9th. Primary election day is August 11th.

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4 Responses

  1. vet2640

    It’s time jamae kawauchi and the rest of the “incompetent staff” resign or be “let-go”.
    I smell a “rat”.

    Reply
  2. onyou

    it’s clear that you have not been following the news or maybe you lack comprehension in what you read. The “incompetent staff” has already been “let-go” to bad Kenoi err’d by reinstating Nakamoto, what a waste of the taxpayer dollars. No legitimate reason for reinstatement I can find, but a letter from Nago pleading for her reinstatement…pathetic!

    So you smell a rat…lol! try adding an “s” as there is more than just one, but a six pack of rats!! Your ignorance Vet2640 is blinding!!!

    Reply
  3. vet2640

    onyou, call me whatever you want, “ignorant”, your right to freedom of speech. Do it to me personally. Didn’t know who you were till now. Served my country in Vietnam, seen a whole lot of blood and guts, just so “onyou” can have the “right” to call me “ignorant”.

    Have a good day!

    Reply
  4. onyou

    @vet2640, seriously…how long are you going to use that as an excuse. So..it’s okay for you to criticize others, but not for others to criticize you? OMG your right, instead of “ignorant” I should have used the word “incompetent.”

    Have a nice night!

    Reply

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