When it was revealed last week that one of Hawaii’s electors voted for Bernie Sanders, a lot of eyes turned toward Kauai’s Janice Bond.
It was Bond, after all, who declared her support for Sanders at the state convention earlier this year. It was Bond who ran the Sanders campaign on Kauai. It was Bond who helped Sanders defeat Clinton in Hawaii’s presidential caucus. And up to Dec. 19, when Electoral College voters were scheduled to vote, Bond still wasn’t entirely sure who she would vote for. She wanted to vote for Sanders. By law, electors were required to vote for Hillary Clinton because she won the general election in the state. But one did not.
Turned out to be David Mulinix. The 66-year-old said he didn’t believe Clinton was qualified to be president so he cast his ballot for Sanders at the state Capitol.
It was, Bond said later that day in an interview with The Garden Island, a stressful time. Before, during and after. She prayed that morning about what to do and after a breakfast with a relative, was dropped off at the Capitol — not at the front door, where protesters, showing their dislike of the political process, waited.
Bond, by the way, said while she knew President Obama was vacationing on Oahu, she thought he could have found time to stop at the Capitol for the Electoral College, considering how tense the situation had become. His presence and leadership could have settled the situation.
“I thought he should have been there ,” she said.
She received numerous phone calls before the Electoral College from people, some in high places, concerned she would vote for Sanders. They wanted to make sure she followed protocol and supported Clinton. The pressure went beyond phone calls. It came from the social media side, too via messages and texts.
When it came time to vote, Bond wavered. She said she was told if she voted for Sanders, her vote would be disqualified and she would be replaced.
Bond wanted to vote for Sanders because she believed he was the best candidate — but influenced by the pressure and worried she would be replaced, she did as most wanted and expected. She gave her vote, with a little reluctance, to Clinton.
But it wasn’t over for Bond. Someone later called to tell her a fake Twitter account under Bond’s name was created and it declared she voted for Sanders. Not true. Not at all. She was unaware of it and set a new course to have it taken down.
Through it all, Bond didn’t lose her sense of humor or her laugh. In her career, she’s taken on and overcome many challenges. She has a history of standing strong for herself and what she believes in. She is known for holding her ground and also known for making smart decisions.
She supported Sanders. She believed him the better candidate. She ran his campaign on Kauai. But come Electoral College time, she did what she really had to do, she voted for Clinton.
It certainly wasn’t an easy decision. But it was the right one.