UPDATED 5/14/2016: Members of the Democratic Party of Hawaii will submit a request to a rules committee Saturday in hopes of getting more delegates to support Bernie Sanders at the national convention this summer.

Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton 70 percent to 30 percent in the party’s presidential preference poll (sometimes referred to as a caucus) in late March.

The independent senator from Vermont who calls himself a “democratic socialist” won 17 delegates while Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state, received eight.

But Hawaii Democrats also have 10 superdelegates who are free to support whomever they choose. Six have pledged support for Clinton, one for Sanders, while three are uncommitted. (See the tally below.)

Right, US Air Force veteran Samantha Robinson with Bernie Sanders shirts on at talk by Jane Sanders and some veterans at Tommy Kakesako building.
U.S. veterans listen to Jane Sanders and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard at the Disabled Veterans of America facilities on Nimitz Highway in March. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The local Sanders supporters plan to submit similarly worded resolutions to the party’s convention resolutions committee this weekend that make several requests, as one of the resolutions explains:

  • That the Democratic Party of Hawaii hereby urges our senior elected officials and party officers to cast their ballots to reflect the vote of Hawaii’s caucus voters, and that the State Party Chair account for and adjust the Super Delegates’ preferences to ensure that the votes of the state’s delegation matches the proportional outcome of the Hawaii Presidential Preference Poll; and
  • That the Democratic Party of Hawaii calls upon the Democratic National Committee to change its Rules to eliminate super delegates by converting Unpledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials, also commonly referred to as Super Delegates, instead be made Pledged Delegates with respect to their votes, in proportion to the popular vote under the various and respective state Presidential Preference Polls, Primary Elections or Caucuses.

If the resolutions committee adopts such a rule, it will go before party members at the state convention over Memorial Day Weekend at the Sheraton Waikiki.

If adopted by the party, Sanders could conceivably pick up more support. While Clinton leads Sanders in total delegates, she has not yet clinched the 2,383 needed for nomination.

Nationally, there is talk that Democratic super-delegates “might have to rethink their support of Hillary Clinton given how dramatically better Sanders fares in head-to-head match-ups against Donald Trump.”

Others argue that it is time for Sanders to drop out so that Clinton can turn her attention to the fall.

Oregon and Kentucky vote Tuesday, while delegate-rich California awaits Golden State voters June 7, when the primary and caucus season ends.

A message for Hawaii’s party chair, Stephanie Ohigashi, was not returned Friday. She is said to be traveling abroad.

UPDATE: Here is the superdelegate count, the last I checked, although I understand that Ohigashi is not running for another term as chair and that election of a new chair may impact the vice chair position as well:

  • Gov. David Ige — uncommitted
  • U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono — Clinton
  • U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz — Clinton
  • U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — Sanders
  • U.S. Rep. Mark Takai — Clinton
  • DNC National Committeewoman Jadine Neilsen — Clinton
  • DNC National Committeeman Russell Okata — Clinton
  • DNC Hawaii State Party Chairperson Stephanie Ohigashi — Uncommitted
  • DNC Hawaii State Party Vice Chair Douglas Pyle — Uncommitted
  • DNC Affiliated Organization Representative: Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui — Clinton

According to party member Bart Dame, who helped coordinate the Sanders campaign in Hawaii, four people who have filed to run for state chair.

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