Hawai‘i Democratic Party Announces Ballot

January 25, 2020, 11:02 AM HST (Updated January 25, 2020, 11:02 AM)
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The Democratic Party of Hawai‘i on Wednesday officially released the names of candidates who will appear on its Presidential Primary ballot on April 4, 2020.

Each candidate filed paperwork ahead of the deadline, which fell at 5 p.m. HST on Jan. 22, 2020.

The candidates are as follows:

  • Michael Bennet
  • Joe Biden
  • Michael Bloomberg
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • John Delaney
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Deval Patrick
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Tom Steyer
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Andrew Yang

One additional campaign, Kamala Harris, filed paperwork to appear on the ballot but later asked that her name be withdrawn, according to a Democratic Party press release.

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“This year’s Presidential election is critical, and Hawai‘i Democratic voters will have an important role to play in selecting the party’s national nominee,” said Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Interim Chair Kate Stanley. “Mail-in voting will make it easier than ever to participate, and we expect an unprecedented number of voters to return ballots.”

The 2020 election will be the first in which mail-in balloting will be used across the state.

To vote in the Democratic Primary, individuals must be registered voters with the State of Hawai‘i and members of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i. They must also be at least 18 years of age by the General Election on Nov. 3, 2020.

Registration to vote can be achieved by completing the following steps:

To receive an early ballot in the mail, the deadline to register to vote and enroll in the party is Feb. 18, 2020. The final deadline to receive a ballot in the mail is March 8, 2020.

In-person voting and same-day registration options will be provided on April 4 on each island from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ranked Choice Voting in Primary

Voting will be conducted with ranked-choice ballots, allowing voters to list their preferred candidates from 1 to 3. Each ballot will only count for one candidate, but rankings will allow voters whose first-choice candidate is below the 15% threshold to have their subsequent candidate be tallied. This provides mail-in voters the most similar experience to what takes place at a traditional caucus when their first choice is not viable.

In order to receive a delegate from Hawai’i to the Democratic National Convention, a presidential candidate must receive 15% of the total count within a Congressional District.

Democratic National Convention delegates who are pledged to those candidates will be selected at the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i State Convention to be held May 23 and 24, 2020 at the Sheraton Waikiki.

Delegate Elections

Separately, the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Precinct, District, County and State Conventions Delegate Elections will take place on March 4, 2020, at locations around the state.

More information can be found online.

Under the former in-person caucus system, 33,716 ballots were cast in the 2016 Hawai‘i’s Presidential Preference Poll. Bernie Sanders received 70% with 25,530 votes. Hillary Clinton received 30% with 10,125 votes. Based on those totals, 17 delegates were awarded to Sanders and 8 to Clinton.

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