- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii Democrats are heading to caucus sites throughout the state Saturday to decide which of the Democratic presidential candidates will get their vote.

Here’s a look at how the voting works in Hawaii:


The state’s Democratic Party calls the caucus a Presidential Preference Poll. It’s similar to a traditional caucus except the votes are done by secret ballot. The Democratic Party of Hawaii pays for the poll, and anyone registered with the party can vote if they are in line at their polling place at 1 p.m. local time.

Organizers encourage everyone, especially those not yet registered, to get to their polls early.



At polling places across the islands Democrats will choose between the two leading Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley suspended his campaign but remains on the ballot with businessman Rocky De la Fuente.

Clinton has the endorsement of many established Democrats in the state, including most of the congressional delegation, two former governors and many other high-profile Democrats in the state. But U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a big exception. She resigned her post as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee to give her endorsement Sanders.



Polling stations open for voters to check their registration at 11 a.m. on Oahu and later on neighbor islands. Anyone who’s in line at 1 p.m. will get to vote, said Stephanie Ohigashi, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

There’s some concern about turnout, since the primary is being held on a Saturday during Easter weekend.



Organizers say they hope to have an unofficial tally by 6 p.m. Saturday. Official results are expected about three weeks later.



Hawaii will send 35 delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer to choose the party’s presidential candidate.

Saturday’s election impacts how 25 of those delegates will vote at the convention. Those 25 delegates’ votes will be assigned based on the percentage of the vote candidates received in Saturday’s caucus.

The state’s remaining 10 delegates are superdelegates, who are select party leaders and elected officials who can choose whoever they want at the national convention in July.

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