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HAWAII COUNTY: The Hawaii County Elections Division appeared have everything under control during this press conference (right) in mid-July. However, a growing number of observers and officials have raised concern about a number of issues, and now even the state’s top elections official has voiced his concern in a critical letter to the clerk. “This is simply unacceptable on the part of a fellow election administrator,” wrote Chief Election Officer Scott Nago of the recent issues. “The public relies on us to be assured that their elections are safe and secure.”
Sherry Bracken of the Big Island News Center reports that Hawaii County is the last to mail its absentee ballots to voters. Bracken also reports that the fired Elections Office administrator Pat Nakamoto has been placed on administrative leave, even though she was reinstated to her job by the Hawaii County Human Resources Division. The clerk’s office has been silent on the issue, according to Bracken.
Some in the media have complained that the flow of information has been disjointed. It didnt help that Bracken and a number of other journalists were not invited to the press event shown in the video above. But in the time since, Bracken has reported on a number of communication issues between the clerk’s office and the media. For example, panic erupted on Monday after the Elections Office was closed without warning, and no explanation — only 19 days before the Primary Election. A note on the door said the office was closed for auditing. It was later clarified that the closure was done so the office could conduct a review of the County’s voter registration.
Now, this letter has been making the rounds: