- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - It will be Wednesday on the East Coast before Tuesday’s last political prize is doled out.

Hawaii Republicans will go to the polls Tuesday to decide how the state’s 19 delegates should be divvied up among the five GOP presidential candidates. Here’s how the state’s GOP caucus works:

LATE POLL CLOSE

Hawaii’s GOP voters will cast their ballots from 6 to 8 p.m., meaning polls close at 1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Ballots will be cast at locations across the islands: Churches, schools, neighborhood centers and community clubs will open their doors to Republican voters.

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WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The presidential candidates are vying for their share of Hawaii’s small delegate count. Of the states, only Vermont and Delaware have fewer than Hawaii’s 19 Republican delegates, with just 16 each, compared with Texas’ 155.

The small pot of delegates, coupled with Hawaii’s distance from the mainland, makes it unlikely for candidates to devote time to campaigning in person. So far, none of the Republican candidates have traveled to Hawaii, including Donald Trump, who could stay in his own Waikiki hotel.

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HOW IT WORKS

The Hawaii Republican Party is running the caucus similar to a primary election. Unlike other caucus states, there will be no speeches or cajoling; Republicans will simply walk in and privately cast their votes.

The caucus voting will determine how many delegate votes each candidate will get, based on a proportion of the votes. Then, based on the results, each candidate’s campaign will select which delegates they’ll send to the convention to cast their votes.

They’re setting up stations on every island for a total of 45 polling places at 44 different locations.

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WHEN TO WEIGH IN ON OTHER RACES

The Hawaii Democratic caucus will be held across the islands March 26. Republicans were outvoted by Democrats nearly 3-to-1 in the last presidential election. Tuesday’s state GOP poll and Democratic caucuses are party-run.

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