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Democratic Party of Hawaii holds presidential caucus

HONOLULU (AP) — Democrats in Hawaii were scheduled to vote Wednesday on their party’s nominee for the president.

There has been little visible campaigning in the islands for the presidential race but incumbent President Joe Biden has a large advantage in the party’s caucus. Others on the ballot include U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips and self-help author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson.

Adrian Tam, the interim chairperson of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, noted Biden’s success in states like Michigan where party contests have already been held.

“The American people really do have confidence in President Biden’s leadership. So, as expected, he does have the upper hand when it comes to our upcoming caucus,” Tam said. Even so, he urged party members to participate.

“It’s your civic duty,” he said.

In-person voting was scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and last through 8 p.m. at school cafeterias, union halls and community centers across the state.

Only registered voters who are party members will be allowed to cast ballots. Same-day party enrollment and voter registration will be available at each poll site.

Hawaii will send 22 pledged delegates to the party’s national convention in August.

Five at-large delegates and three party leader and elected official delegates will be allocated in proportion to the statewide vote. The state’s two congressional districts will each send seven delegates.

Under Democratic National Committee delegate selection rules, any candidate is eligible to win delegates if they receive at least 15% of the statewide vote or 15% of the vote in any congressional district.

The 1st Congressional District covers urban Honolulu. The second encompasses rural parts of Oahu and all other islands.

Hawaii is a Democratic Party stronghold. Democrats control both chambers of the state Legislature and the governor’s office. All four member’s of the state’s congressional delegation are Democrats.

Audrey Mcavoy, The Associated Press

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