Dems’ caucus picks nominee for president
We have been confused with the voting procedure of late. Because of the age factor and health problems, we have been getting absentee ballots for a number of years. Has this changed? All we want to do is choose Barack Obama -- how and where and when?
Answer: You cannot vote absentee for Barack Obama, unless he turns out to be the Democratic Party nominee.
To help decide who will be the nominee, you can vote in next Tuesday's presidential preference poll being held by the Democratic Party of Hawaii.
But you have to show up in person at the designated precinct caucus meeting being held in your state House District.
The Democratic Party emphasizes that participants will "NOT be going to their usual primary or general election polling station because this is a poll being taken by Democrats of their members. It is NOT an election involving all voters."
You have to be registered to vote and be a registered Democrat to take part in the caucuses. But if not, you can register for either at the door Tuesday night.
You're advised to show up earlier than the 7 p.m. start of polling if you need to register.
To find out where to go, call the Democratic Party of Hawaii at 596-2980 or check its Web site at www.hawaiidemocrats. org.
Several states use presidential primaries or party caucuses as a means of deciding who their presidential nominees will be in November's general election.
In Hawaii, the Democratic Party is holding caucuses to decide how to apportion its delegates to the national convention.
Up for grabs are 20 delegates, who will vote for a candidate based on the percentage of votes received in the preference poll.
Actual delegates to the Democratic National Convention, where the nominee formally will be chosen in August, will be selected during the state Democratic Convention in May.
Hawaii Democrats also have nine "superdelegates" who are free to vote for any candidate.
The superdelegates are the state party chair and vice chair; national committeeman and woman; Hawaii's four congressional representatives, who all happen to be Democrats; and one unpledged delegate.
Meanwhile, you can vote absentee in both the Sept. 20 primary election and Nov. 4 general election.
Voters can request absentee ballots beginning July 22, and until Sept. 13 for the primary election and until Oct. 24 for the general election. Applications will be available at all satellite city halls, city/county clerk offices on all islands, U.S. post offices, all public libraries and all state agencies.
Completed application forms can be mailed or dropped off at city/county clerk's offices. A ballot then will be mailed to you.
Voters also can vote absentee at walk-in polling places that will be set up Sept. 8-18 for the primary election and Oct. 21-Nov. 1 for the general election.
For more information, call the state Office of Elections at 453-8683.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
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