Aloha Bernie

KAPAA — Maia Nartoomid waited in a line with more than 100 people at Lihue Neighborhood Center Saturday afternoon to cast her vote for Bernie Sanders.

But she wasn’t standing.

The 67-year-old sat with a cane in her hand and anytime the line moved, her chair moved with it. She’d recently had surgery and said she shouldn’t miss her chance to vote for the one candidate who is “truly inspirational.”

“To me, it’s not even about Bernie himself,” Nartoomid said. “It’s about the whole grassroots movement that he has inspired. He has lifted people’s spirits; I’m looking at it not as just electing another president but a whole movement of consciousness.”

Nartoomid was one of many who came out to show their American spirit and do their due diligence by casting their ballots on Saturday at the Democratic caucus at one of the nine polling locations across Kauai.

Voters had their chance to help Hawaii choose its Democratic nominee between presidential hopefuls Sanders and Hillary Clinton, as well electing delegates and alternates to the State Convention, set for May 28-29.

Sanders, who won Washington state and Alaska Saturday, has made his supporters hopeful.

“(It) makes me feel like we’ve got a chance,” said Richard Hayes, a small-business owner. “It looks like the Republican party is not thinking, so we need somebody with a strong image to win in the polls.”

Hayes said Sanders’ administration — if he were to win — would carry the successes of his predecessor.

“We have the best opportunity for continued middle class growth because Obama has done a good job,” Hayes said.

GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump won the Hawaii Republican Presidential Caucus on March 8 sending 19 delegates to the Republican National Conventional.

Dave Rosenberg said a vote for Sanders is a “no brainer.”

“I mean, it’s really that the Republicans would like to dismantle anything that the Obama administration did,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg added, “I think Bernie understands what Obama did and I think he has a much more progressive sense on how to take it further.”

One voter, who declined to give his name, said it’s not that he didn’t like Clinton, he just wanted to “give Bernie a chance.”

Another voter who had just left the Kapaa Neighborhood Center said she cast her vote for Clinton simply “because I like her.”

A small group of Sanders supporters were excitedly chatting and waiting in what became dubbed as the “Wailua line” to cast their vote.

There had been some confusion for voters in the Wailua Homesteads who initially showed up to vote at the Kapaa Neighborhood Center. Voters were turned away and told to go to the Lihue Neighborhood.

Nartoomid said she didn’t understand why she couldn’t vote in her own zip code. It would be easier, she said.

Tony DeJesus, another voter in the Wailua line waiting at the Lihue Neighborhood Center, said it was really no trouble.

“They told us right away,” he said. “And we came over here.”


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