East Hawaii News

Kawauchi, Five Others Attend Election Workshop

September 28, 2012, 4:47 PM HST
* Updated October 1, 10:21 AM
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As she said she would, County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi on Thursday attended an elections workshop on Maui.

The workshop was the second of three scheduled by the state Office of Elections to allow election workers from around the state an opportunity to view how Maui, Kauai and Oahu handled duties during the Aug. 11 primary.

State elections spokesman Rex Quidilla said that Kawauchi was one of six representatives from the Big Island to attend the workshop. The group also included Elizabeth Lehua Iopa, who this week was named as interim administrator of the county’s Election Division.

Quidilla said the Maui workshop was similar to the one on Kauai.

“It was an overview of the entire operation – where things were done and how things were done,” he said.

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Because of problems encountered on the Big Island during that election, Kawauchi was criticized by members of the state Election Commission for missing the first of the workshops held Sept. 10 on Kauai.

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According to a statement issued Wednesday, Kawauchi said she had been unable to attend because she was meeting that day with Big Island precinct workers. Deputy County Clerk Steve Lopez and three members of the Big Island election staff did attend the Kauai workshop.

“We are grateful for the support that the State Office of Elections and the counties have extended to Hawaii County,” she said in the statement. “I will continue to ask for their support to help me and the elections division staff ensure that Hawaii County has a fair and well-run election.”

Her statement also said she would attend the two final training sessions on Maui and Oahu.

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Kawauchi’s preparations for the Nov. 6 general election have reportedly included hiring of new staff and additional training for election workers.

Kawauchi did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the workshop and other preparations.

The third workshop is scheduled for Thursday in Honolulu.

 

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