Get Your Vote On
Molokai will choose their Democratic presidential candidate on Feb. 19.
By Brandon Roberts
With a Democratic dead heat after last week’s Super Tuesday presidential primary, Hawaii may have the rare opportunity of deciding the nation’s Democratic nominee during next weeks Democratic Caucus.
“What the people need to know is that Feb. 19 is the day that Molokai voters choose their Democratic presidential nominee,” Molokai Democratic Volunteer Coordinator Beverly Pauole-Moore said.
“Molokai (voters) are the movers and shakers,” Pauole-Moore said. “Every single vote counts; we can make a difference.” Molokai will send 10 delegates to the State Convention based on this poll.
“The focus is going to shift to Hawaii,” Hawaii Senator Colleen Hanabusa said in response to the Democratic results after the Super Tuesday results.
The Democratic presidential nomination is based on a system of delegates. These delegates are selected in proportion with the votes obtained per state. The delegates are there for the best interest of the state they represent.
Illinois Senator Barack Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton are currently vying for delegate votes, which are being hashed out around the nation at state caucuses and primaries. Hawaii’s voters will be represented by 29 delegates.
“What is happening here on Molokai is awesome, but if you want to continue the Molokai lifestyle you need to be ready to vote,” Democratic Political Director Florence Kong Kee said.
According to the Hawaiian Democratic website, delegate selection is crucial. Delegates will vote at the National Democratic Party Convention August 25-28th, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.
During a presidential election cycle, the first Tuesday in February is known as Super Tuesday. Many states with large populations and therefore large electoral votes, like California and New York, go to the primary polls this day.
Although Super Tuesday often defines which candidates will be on the November ballot, last week’s event brought Democratic candidate event closer. Obama is barely ahead with a narrow 54-delegate lead over Clinton, 958 to 904.
A candidate must secure the support of 2,025 out of 4,049 delegates to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination.
The wildcard in the Democratic presidential nomination process is the super delegates, which comprise nearly 20% of votes at the Democratic National Convention. Super delegates are unpledged, which means their votes are not molded by primary or caucus decisions.
There are 792 super delegates, which include all Democratic U.S. senators and representatives, various elected officials, and members of the Democratic National Committee.
The ‘How To’ Guide
To participate in the Feb.19 Hawaiian Democratic presidential preference poll, a person must have a valid Hawaii identification, be a registered voter in the state and be a registered Democrat. This is known as a closed primary as only party members can vote.
Voters will be allowed to register the day of the vote at designated polling places. Unregistered voters must fill out a Wiki Wiki voter registration form before voting.
If a person is a registered Republican but wishes to vote in the Democratic poll, he or she must first withdraw from the current party.
Polling will begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19. If people need to register to vote or register with the Democratic Party, they are asked to be there by 5:30 p.m.
Pauole-Moore said it is a good idea to register beforehand so “the polling stations are not a madhouse.”
Kawela to Halawa is the East End precinct 8 and polling will take place at the Kilohana Center on Kamehameha V highway.
Precinct 9 is Kaunakakai, and this is at the Mitchell Pauole Center (MPC). MPC is located at 90 Ainoa St in Kaunakakai.
Precinct 10 is Maunaloa and Kaluakoi, and polling will be held at the MPC Conference room B (small room). The reason for this location is that no polling place was available on the West End.
Kualapu`u, Ho`olehua and Kalae are in precinct 11. Polling for this precinct will be at the Kualapu`u Elementary School Cafeteria at 155 Farrington Highway.
Kalaupapa is Precinct 12 and polling will be held at McVeigh Hall. Contact Clarence ‘Boogy’ Kahilihiwa at 567-6217 for more information.
The counties hold their Democratic conventions on May 3, with the exception of Oahu, whose convention will be held over two days, May 2 and 3. Delegates are selected at the Hawaii State Convention at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel in Honolulu, May 23-25. The presidential election is held the first Tuesday of November. This year it is on November 4.
The Hawaii Republican Primary will be held May 17. For further inquiry go to www.gophawaii.com.