CIRA de CASTILLOTGI Staff Writer
LIHU’E — In November, more than 96 million people from Hawai’i to Maine will
go to the polls and vote their choice for the next president of the United
This transition of power is at the heart of American democracy and
has successfully been put to the test 53 times since the election of the first
U.S. president, George Washington, in 1789.
Before the General Election on
Nov. 7, each national political party will nominate a candidate whose name will
be placed on the general election presidential ballot in all 50 states and the
District of Columbia.
Nominating Presidential Candidates
unlike New Hampshire where the first political primary in the country was held
last week, does not hold a presidential primary election. Hawai”i’s state and
local primary election is held in September well after the national parties
have selected their presidential nominees.
Candidates that emerge from the
national political party conventions as their nominees are placed on the Hawaii
general election ballot.
The nomination of a single candidate, who will be
charged with winning the presidential office for their party, is ultimately
made by the delegates at the national political parties’ convention.
Delegates carry with them a committed first ballot vote for the candidate who
won their states primary or caucus vote. The party’s presidential nominee
selects their vice presidential running mate and, as a “ticket”, they lead
their party on the general election ballot.
Political Party Caucus
Delegates who are selected at the local political party caucuses
may go on to county, state and if selected national conventions. Delegates may
carry with them to the national convention the commitment to a presidential
candidate who is seeking the presidential nomination of their party.
commitment is registered as a vote cast at the national convention.
Tuesday and Wednesday of this week the Republican Party of Kaua’i will hold
three district meetings. Districts 12 and 13 will meet Feb. 8 at the Kilauea
and Lihu’e neighborhood centers, respectively.
District 14 will meet at
the Kalaheo neighborhood center on Feb. 9.
There party members will vote to
fill precinct and district offices and elect delegates to the state Republican
Convention. They do not conduct a presidential caucus of the members.
7 the Democratic Party of Kauai will hold 20 precinct caucus meetings to poll,
by secret ballot, all members presidential preference choice followed by
election of party officials and county and state convention delegates.
Each delegation must be equally divided between men and women.
March 25 the
Kaua’i Green Party members will begin their county caucus meetings.
Republicans will open their national convention on July 29 in Philadelphia.
Democrats will convene Aug. 14 in Los Angeles and the Greens will hold their
national convention in Denver on June 24.
Primary Election Process
Primary elections are really political party elections. The process and rules
for the primary elections may be different in each state.
In Hawai’i any
properly registered voter can vote on any single party ticket of their choice
on primary election day.
The citizens of Hawai’i are not required to
register with a political party, and do not need to declare a party affiliation
when registering or voting in the primary election.
But to participate in
the political party caucuses one needs to be an official party
Political Parties Ballot Access
There are currently three
qualified political parties in Hawai”i. The Democratic, Hawai’i Green and
Republican party all have ballot access to nominate candidates for all elected
offices in Hawai’i.
If the Libertarians, Reform, Natural Law, and
Taxpayers, all political parties who had presidential candidates on the 1996
Hawai’i presidential ballot, or any other political party wants to have a
presidential candidate represented on the Hawai’i 2000 general election ballot
they will need to file a petition with the chief election officer of Hawai’i by
Sep. 8, 2000.
Political Party Genesis
Thomas Jefferson founded the
Democratic Party of the United States in 1792 and was elected as the first
Democratic President in 1798. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) was
established in 1848. The DNC is the oldest continuing party committee in the
United States and the world.
The Democratic Party rose to political power
in Hawai’i with the election of John A. Burns as Governor in 1957.
the Republican Party, know as the GOP (Grand Old Party), formally organized
itself by holding its first convention.
Abraham Lincoln, in 1860, became
the first elected Republican President of the United States. William W. King
was the last Republican governor in Hawai’i.
The Green Party, in August of
1996, held its first United States nomination convention in Los Angeles. In
1998 Ralph Nader became the party’s first presidential candidate.