Hawaii Democrats voting in big presidential preference poll

Hawaii Democrats are casting their ballots for a presidential nominee in a big day for the political party.

Voting began at 1 p.m. Saturday around the state.

The Hawaii Democratic Party are holding a preference poll two weeks after local Republicans voted in their caucus.

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A record turnout is expected at places like McKinley High School, one of the many places where Democrats will be able to vote.

Only registered party members can vote, but you can register online now or in person Saturday. And you can only vote in person — there is no absentee voting.

The poll will be held at several locations across the state and followed by a precinct meeting.

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Party chair Stephanie Ohigashi said Friday a record 100,000 ballots have been printed, a big increase from years past. And not only will local Democrats be choosing either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, but precinct officers and delegates to the state convention as well.

The results will decide how Hawaii splits 34 delegates to the Democratic National Convention being held the weekend of July 25-28 in Philadelphia.

Just to clarify, this is a preference poll, not a caucus where people gather to discuss and cast a public vote.

Hawaii Pacific University communications chair John Hart explains that “What happens in a presidential preference poll is they’re going to go to their stations, they will not have a discussion, they will have a secret ballot, and then we’ll see what happens from there.”

Volunteers for the Clinton and Sanders campaigns were making last-minute pushes Friday to remind people to get out the vote Saturday for their respective candidates.

Sanders was trailing Clinton in the delegate count, but may gain some, having won the Washington state and Alaska caucuses earlier in the day.

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