FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
As it was in many Democratic caucus polling sites Tuesday night, Manoa Elementary School cafeteria was abuzz with activity. Volunteer Trudy Wong handed out ballots as names were called.
Party expects caucus results will be verified
Campaign and Democratic Party officials say they expect that the results of Tuesday's caucuses will be verified during a recount this week despite the confusion and chaos at the polling precincts.
"It looked messy, I will grant you that. We perhaps could have put on a better show," said Annelle Amaral, Oahu county chairwoman. "But, what the hell, democracy is messy."
Hawaii-born Barack Obama appears to have five of seven statewide delegates and nine delegates from both congressional districts in the state.
The ballots will be recounted March 1 with observers from the Obama and Clinton campaigns present before the results are certified, party officials said.
"I'm relatively confident that the count yesterday should be close to what was reported," said Andy Winer, Obama state coordinator.
"It's all done so quickly that there can be mistakes," said Richard Port, a Clinton observer during Tuesday night's counting. "However, generally speaking, you would not expect the mistake would result in a change of delegates."
Port said he did not observe any indication of fraud or significant problems with the count.
Winer and Amaral said Tuesday's record turnout was unprecedented and unexpected, even as excitement was building over a hometown candidate and the likelihood that Hawaii's votes would make a difference in the nomination.
"Under our most optimistic scenario, we weren't looking for the numbers that showed up," Winer said.
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
At Jefferson School in Waikiki, volunteer David Rodriguez, left, called out the names of eligible voters before ballots were passed out to eager Democrats.
Kapahulu resident Dennard Byrd, who waited in line for an hour at Jefferson Elementary School before being told to go to another line, said the volunteers needed better training and should have been more courteous.
"No. 1, they didn't expect the size of the crowd. No. 2, most of the people didn't work the polling place before," Byrd said.
Amaral said that in hindsight the party should have tried to get more supplies and volunteers and trained the volunteers differently.
Planning and training for the caucuses began in November, but it was not until after Super Tuesday on Feb. 5 that it became apparent that a large crowd would turn out.
By then, Amaral said, it was too late to find and train all the volunteers necessary.
"I couldn't have fixed it in time," she said.
Friday, February 22, 2008
The Democratic Party of Hawaii will recount the ballots cast in Tuesday's presidential preference poll by March 1 or earlier. Originally, this story incorrectly said the recount would be done tomorrow.