Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hawaii Democrats Nix In-Person Voting in April Primary

The Hawaii Democratic Party on Friday, March 20 followed Wyoming Democrats' lead and cancelled the in-person voting component of their April 4 party-run presidential primary. The decision comes as gatherings both large and small come under increased restriction amid the rising threat of the coronavirus spread.

Ballots were mailed to all registered Democrats across the Aloha state, but another round will go out to those who are registered to vote and enrolled as Democrats by April 4, the original end to the voting phase of the process. But that "by April 4" implies that the deadline for submitting those mail-in ballots will be extended further in an effort to both increase participation, but also provide fair opportunities to vote to every Democrat in Hawaii who wants to. Those deadlines will be shared with the public when they are settled.

Among the other parts of the process that remain unresolved for Hawaii Democrats is the delegate selection process. District delegates were originally slated to be selected in congressional district caucuses at the May 23 state convention. But that convention has now been shifted to September, after the Democratic National Convention in July. That, in turn, means that the Hawaii Democratic Party will have to fundamentally reshape the way in which it had planned to select delegates in 2020. The party is in consultation with the DNC over how best to do that.

For now, Hawaii will remain on April 4 on the 2020 FHQ presidential primary calendar and will stay there until the Democratic Party in the Aloha state finalized mail-in deadlines.

Hawaii Democratic Party's press release/email on primary changes archived here.

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