Lori Tomczyk, a long-time state election section chief, is taking the fall for Oahu’s ballot shortages on Election Day, and resigned at her boss’ request earlier this month, sources told Hawaii News Now Monday. During the general election on Nov. 6, 24 Oahu polling places ran out of paper ballots, causing long lines of voters and delaying the first printout of election results by two hours. Tomczyk is the ballot operations section head, who is in charge of distribution and collection of ballots statewide.
An elections official since 1999, she’s worked every Hawaii election since 2000. Her boss, Chief Election Officer Scott Nago, sent Tomczyk to the Big Island to run elections there Nov. 6 after the Hawaii County clerk had numerous problems during the Aug. 11 primary election. She was also sent to Hawaii County for the primary.
Sources said Nago asked Tomczyk to resign a few days after the general election because of the problems on Oahu. Tomczyk, an at-will employee without union protection, complied with Nago’s request and quit, sources said.
Her last day with the state is Friday, a source said.
Hawaii News Now was not able to reach Tomczyk for comment and Nago said he could not comment because it’s a personnel matter.
Some people within the election community feel Tomczyk is being made the scapegoat because she’s being held responsible for two jobs on Election Day: running Hawaii County’s election operations while also making sure ballot operations on Oahu ran smoothly. And she had all those responsibilities while when she was in Hilo for a week and a half leading up to and including Election Day, sources said.