Hawaii County Clerk answers the latest round of questions

HILO, Hawaii: In a media release issued on Wednesday evening, the Office of the Hawaii County Clerk attempted to set the record straight on a few matters of confusion regarding the embattled elections division and its post-election interactions with the State Office of Elections.

Right off the top of the release, the clerk talked about the now-infamous taking of the precinct record books by the State in order to conduct an investigation into the problems that occurred on Primary Election day. In news reports, the Chief Elections Officer, Scott Nago, said he told Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi that he was taking the books, but Kawauchi said she did not recall such a discussion, and questioned the right by which the state took the materials.

On August 24, 2012 the Hawai‘i County Clerk met with the Attorney General’s Office to discuss Hawai‘i County’s August 11, 2012, Primary Election precinct record books. Following the meeting, she and the Chief Elections Officer, Scott Nago, spoke by telephone and agreed that the State of Hawai‘i, Office of Elections would keep the original Hawai‘i County record books and the Office of the County Clerk would be provided with photocopies. Photocopies were received on August 27, 2012. The Hawai‘i County Clerk is in the process of examining the photocopies.

It has also been reported that neither Kawauchi or any other county representative was present for an important gathering on Oahu this past Monday, involving all the County Elections Offices, in order to meet with the representatives of the company that supplies the electronic voting hardware and software for Hawaii elections, Hart InterCivic™. Hawaii County was the only county not represented. On this issue, the media release said:

…on August 27, 2012, the State of Hawai‘i, Office of Elections held a voting equipment debriefing in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. The Hawai‘i County Clerk has received questions concerning why she did not attend the voting equipment debriefing on August 27, 2012. She did not attend the voting equipment debriefing on August 27, 2012 because she met with the voting equipment vendor’s Regional Manager and Island Representative in Hilo on August 22, 2012 at her request. The meeting was a standard debriefing on the voting machines. It was discussed with them that the voting machines ran well during the Primary Election and that the voting equipment vendor provided and continues to provide very effective service for Hawai‘i County.

Once again, the clerk’s office was unwilling to discuss personnel matters.

Also, on August 28, 2012, the Office of the County Clerk received inquiries about the Elections Program Administrator, and her work status. As stated continuously, the Office of the County Clerk does not provide comment concerning personnel matters. There is no new information to report concerning this matter.

Note, the Hawai‘i County Clerk very much wants the public to know as stated previously and continuously, throughout this election, the public is the priority and every vote counts. In furtherance of this message, the Office of the County Clerk, Elections Division, is committed to working in partnership with the Chief Elections Officer and the State Office of Elections and the public to ensure a secure, open and honest election on November 6, 2012

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