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by Kalamalama staff
The 2008 Presidential Caucus polled over 37,000 Hawai‘i residents statewide, making it the largest turn out in Hawai‘i history. There have never been more than 5,000 participants statewide.
(hawaiidemocrats.org) The Democratic Party headquarters at Ward Warehouse was filled with media covering this historical event. Kalamalama Editor Ku‘ulei Funn was there to help the Associated Press (AP) Honolulu Bureau cover the event.

“I felt nervous. I had a lot of important information to relay to the Associated Press in Spokane, Washington,” said Funn.

Funn worked along side Mark Niesse of the Honoulu Bureau AP to relay the polling results to the AP in Washington where Deborah Altmar, elections coordinator, used the information to inform CNN officials about the progress Hawai‘i had been making that night.

“ The vote numbers came in sporadically throughout the night, with no real order; it was especially confusing because it was my first time,” said Funn.

“ Deborah reassured me though, that the numbers are always given in a random way, so everyone has to bear with the party until all the final figures come out,” she added.

U.S. Congressman Neil Abercrombie, who visited the headquarters, shared his thoughts about this year’s voter turn out.

“ This is a campaign no longer; this is a movement,” said Abercrombie.

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye was there as well, and shared his thoughts about the caucus.
“ I think the election is not over yet for Mrs. Clinton,” said Inouye.

U.S. Senator Barack Obama had swept the polls with 76 percent of the votes, while Senator Clinton had polled 24 percent of Hawai‘i voters. On March 4, the next Democratic Party primaries will be held in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The last state to participate in the Primary Election is Washington on June 15.

“ It was an exciting assignment. I was glad to see history being made in the process as well,” said Funn.


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