Think Hawaii doesn’t matter much in the Republican presidential contest?
Well, listen to this (profanity alert):
That’s a robocall that came to a Civil Beat cell phone with a Hawaii area code on Sunday.
The phone number of the caller had a Miami area code, and the robocall says the message was paid for by Hawaii for Donald Trump. There’s a Facebook page for a group called Hawaii for Donald Trump, but it’s unclear whether this robocall has anything to do with that group.
“Voting matters, and this is a time where we can come out and say who we stand for,” said Tagavilla. “It is important for us to have a say in nominating our presidential candidate. … If we don’t go out and vote, we are abandoning the process.”
Tagavilla spoke to Civil Beat on the same day that Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 nominee, blasted Trump, the Republican frontrunner in 2016.
Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, had been the preferred candidate of top Hawaii GOP leaders, but he withdrew after poor showings in the first four contests last month.
But Bush’s name will still be on the caucus ballot, as will Ben Carson, the retired surgeon who stopped campaigning this week. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also on the list, as is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Voters line up at the entrance to the cafeteria at Nanaikapono Elementary School in November 2014
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Nineteen delegates are up for grabs, and they will be awarded proportionally.
All that’s necessary to vote is photo identification and the filling out of a Republican Party registration card, which should be available at all precincts. The results are expected to be announced late Tuesday.
The Hawaii GOP caucus will be held after caucuses or primaries are held in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine on Saturday, and Puerto Rico on Sunday. Idaho, Michigan and Mississippi vote the same day as Hawaii.
Hawaii’s Democrats will have their say March 26, a Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. It’s technically not called a caucus but rather a “presidential preference poll.”
Voting is open to all Hawaii registered voters, “provided they have joined the Democratic party,” says a party advisory. Those who haven’t signed up can do so at the precinct meetings, which will also involve other party business.
The candidates are former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and real estate developer Roque De La Fuente.
Thirty-four delegates are at stake, and they will be awarded proportionally, too — but not unless they meet a threshold of garnering at least 15 percent of the vote. The name of former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will also be listed on the ballot, though he dropped out of the race last month.
“This is one of the most exciting presidential preference polls that I can remember,” said Stephanie Ohigashi, chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. “But you have to be a member of the party to vote. You can’t go to the GOP caucus and then two weeks later try to register as a Democrat. Choose one.”