HONOLULU (KHON) — The Democratic Party of Hawaii announced the results of the state’s 2020 presidential primary election on Saturday, May 23rd. Former Vice President Joe Biden won with 62% of the votes, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came in second with 37%.
This earned Biden 10 congressional delegates and Sanders 5. Biden also received 6 at-large delegates and 3 PLEO delegates, otherwise known as superdelegates. Sanders was not eligible for the at-large delegates or the superdelegates. No other candidate received more than 15% of votes, and as such did not receive any delegates.
Voting took place entirely by mail. In-person voting was scheduled for April 4th, but was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 79,150 ballots were mailed out, and 35,044 were received. Voter turnout exceeded 2016 participation, which saw a total of 33,716 votes cast.
“It wasn’t substantially improved [from 2016], but it did reach democrats who otherwise didn’t go to a caucus,” said Democratic Party of Hawaii Interim Chair Kate Stanley. “I think the mail-in ballot is the best way to ensure that people have the opportunity to participate.”
This was also the first time ranked-choice voting was used.
“When people voted, they had 3 choices. In our results, many people’s second choice was recorded. So you may have voted for [former candidate] Pete Buttigieg 1st and Joe Biden 2nd, but Pete Buttigieg didn’t have enough votes, so Biden got the vote. That’s how more people’s votes counted with ranked-choice than otherwise if it was just a number cast for each person. So we’re very pleased with ranked-choice voting.”
Currently, Biden has 1,566 delegates, 425 shy of the 1,991 needed to win the nomination. Biden is presumed to be the democratic nominee, as Sanders — who has 1,007 delegates — suspended his campaign and endorsed Biden in April
The next set of primary contests will be held on Tuesday, June 2nd and will include: Washington DC, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota.
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