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Four people cast votes twice in ’10 in Hawaii County

August 1, 2012
By AUDREY McAVOY , The Associated Press

HONOLULU - An audit of Hawaii County's registered voter rolls found four people voted twice in 2010 elections and between 50 and 60 people were registered more than once, County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi said Tuesday.

Kawauchi said her office found no sign of systemic problems. She said a clerical error may be at fault, but she reported the four voters who cast ballots twice to the state attorney general's office during a meeting last week.

She said it's not up to her whether there will be an investigation into the matter, and declined to comment further.

Kawauchi spoke to the news media at the state Capitol after meeting with state elections officials and clerks of other Hawaii counties.

Her office began their audit the weekend of July 21-22. She explained she closed her office on the following Monday - forwarding telephone calls to a Kona office and redirecting in-person visitors to another office across the hall - so her staff could complete the audit without interruption.

She didn't notify the state elections office about the closure until Monday afternoon, however.

The lack of communication unnerved the state's chief elections officer, Scott Nago, with just weeks remaining before the Aug. 11 primary election. But he seemed satisfied after meeting with Kawauchi on Tuesday. He said they worked through their issues.

"I just want to assure the voters that we will be able to put on a secure, open and honest election," Nago said.

Kawauchi said she's been told it's not necessary for county clerks to audit the registered voter list all at once, and that it's fine to review the list as preparations are made for upcoming elections. But she said she wanted to be ready early for the election.

"I am new to all of this. I was installed into my posi-tion in 2010. Being new, I wanted to be as planned and prepared as possible," she said.

As for why she closed her office, Kawauchi said that it was important for her staff to have quiet time to finish their review.

The county sent out 101,000 yellow cards to voters with information on the primary election. About 5,000 were returned in the mail.

Kawauchi said some will be sent to forwarding addresses. A few hundred of the 5,000 are undeliverable, she said.

Another 175 yellow cards were found to have mistakenly assigned people to the wrong district.

An alert voter noticed the error, and notified the elections office.

All those affected live on two streets, Kawauchi said. Her office has fixed that problem, she said.



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