New chief elections officer selected for Hawaii; no special election date set yet
The state Elections Commission today named Scott Nago as chief elections officer to fill out the term of his predecessor.
Nago had been serving as interim chief since Dec. 30, when Kevin Cronin suddenly resigned.
Nago will now serve out the rest of Cronin’s term that expires on Feb. 1, 2012, said William Marston, chairman of the state Elections Commission.
Nago had led the ballot counting section for the state Office of Elections and his appointment to interim chairman was endorsed by the four county clerks.
“Scott has proven himself,” Marston said. “He’s a good man. He’s already showed his worth and he has our support 100 percent.”
One of Nago’s responsibilities will be to set the date for a special election to fill the remaining term of U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who is resigning to campaign in the Democratic primary for governor.
“The proclamation for the date has to be set by the chief election officer,” Marston said. “He sets that proclamation and the election can take place no earlier than 60 days later. He sets that proclamation when he feels he can do so.”
The cost of the special election has been estimated at $125,000 and elections officials are waiting for the money to be allocated, Marston said.
The naming of a new elections chief comes at a critical time for the Office of Elections, which also must obtain new voting machines and plan for the elections with reduced funding because of the state's budget deficit.
Legal challenges have left the state with no voting machines until new administrative rules are adopted.
“It’s an interesting time for anybody in the state, given the problems of limited funding and all the other issues,” Marston said.