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The Hawaii Democratic caucuses are an important part of the state’s process for selecting delegates to the Democratic National Convention. If you need a quick answer, the 2024 Hawaii Democratic caucuses will close at 6:00 PM Hawaii Standard Time on Saturday, April 15th.

In this comprehensive article, we will provide full details on the Hawaii caucus process, including when the caucuses close, how the delegate selection works, the history and significance of the Hawaii caucus, and what voters need to know to participate.

Overview of the Hawaii Caucus Process

Brief History of the Hawaii Caucus

The Hawaii caucus has been held since 1980 to allocate delegates to presidential candidates. As one of the most diverse states in the U.S., the Hawaii caucus provides an early test of candidates’ appeal to non-white voters. Some key events in Hawaii caucus history include:

  • In 2008, native Hawaiian Barack Obama won the caucus with 76% of the vote in his birth state.
  • In 2016, Bernie Sanders scored an upset victory over Hillary Clinton, powered by strong support from young progressive voters.
  • The 2020 contest saw Joe Biden score a comeback win in Hawaii during Super Tuesday after an initial Sanders surge.

Caucus vs Primary

Hawaii holds a party-run caucus rather than a state-run primary election to allocate delegates. Here is a comparison:

Caucus Primary
– Organized by political parties – Run by state election officials
– Features discussion and debate – Typical secret ballot vote
– Can take several hours – Usually quicker process
– Tests candidate organization strength – Evaluates broader voter appeal

Caucuses like Hawaii’s require more voter commitment but also increase civic engagement compared to primaries. The tradeoffs spur an ongoing debate over the best nomination process.

How Delegates are Allocated

In the Hawaii Democratic caucus, voters elect delegates to county conventions supporting specific presidential candidates. The number of delegates for each candidate is proportional to the caucus vote results. Next, the county delegates choose state delegates at the state convention.

Finally, Hawaii sends 34 total delegates to vote at the Democratic National Convention.

The decentralized caucus system makes delegate math tricky compared to states that just use the primary popular vote. Candidates must focus on viable delegate slots across Hawaii’s islands rather than just chasing votes statewide.

This dynamic keeps less-resourced campaigns competitive and compels engagement with local party activists.

2024 Hawaii Democratic Caucus

Date and Times

The 2024 Hawaii Democratic caucuses are tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 16, 2024. Caucus times will vary by location, but generally take place in the late morning and run through mid-afternoon. Precise times and locations will be published by the Hawaii Democratic Party ahead of the vote.

Voter Eligibility Requirements

To participate in Hawaii’s Democratic caucus, voters must be:

  • A U.S. citizen and Hawaii resident
  • At least 18 years old by Election Day (November 5, 2024)
  • Registered with the Democratic Party of Hawaii before the voter registration deadline

Voter Registration Deadlines

The deadline to register to vote in the 2024 Hawaii Democratic caucuses is February 18, 2024. This deadline applies to both new voters and party affiliation changes. Hawaii does not allow same-day registration for caucuses.

How to Participate

On caucus day, eligible voters must attend their designated precinct caucus location to fill out a presidential preference ballot. Results from all precincts across Hawaii will determine the number of delegates awarded to each candidate.

Those planning to participate are encouraged to verify their registration status and caucus location well in advance.

Key Deadlines for Presidential Campaigns

Below are some of the key organizing deadlines for presidential contenders aiming to compete in Hawaii:

  • November 1, 2023 – Campaigns may begin submitting delegate candidates for review
  • January 17, 2024 – Delegate candidate submission deadline
  • February 3, 2024 – Deadline for certified delegate candidates to file with Hawaii Democratic Party

Reviewing Hawaii’s detailed caucus rules and procedures will be vital for campaigns seeking to win delegates in the state.

The Significance of the Hawaii Caucus

Hawaii’s Influence in the Nomination Process

As one of the last states to hold its Democratic caucus, Hawaii has the potential to play an important role in the presidential nomination process. With only a few contests remaining after Hawaii, the Aloha State caucus can help provide momentum to a candidate working to secure the nomination.

For example, in 2008, Barack Obama won the Hawaii caucus with 76% of the vote shortly after a string of victories on Super Tuesday. This added to his delegate lead and the sense that he was the inevitable nominee.

Similarly, in 2016, Hillary Clinton dominated the Hawaii caucus with 69% of the vote, further cementing her frontrunner status late in the primary season.

So while Hawaii’s small population means it doesn’t have a large number of delegates to award, its placement late in the nomination calendar gives it outsized influence. Candidates who do well in the Aloha State can demonstrate growing support as the finish line approaches.

Past Hawaii Caucus Results and Impact

Let’s take a closer look at previous Hawaii Democratic caucuses and their impact:

  • 2008 – Obama’s landslide 76% victory over Clinton gave him momentum headed into the final contests.
  • 2016 – Clinton’s dominant 69% win over Sanders further boosted her insurmountable delegate lead.
  • 2020 – Biden’s 63% to 36% triumph over Sanders helped consolidate his position as the clear moderate alternative to Sanders’ progressive campaign.

As these examples show, strong Hawaii caucus performances have boosted leading candidates in the past. Given its timing late in the process, Hawaii has been a confirming contest rather than a game-changing one.

Still, the state’s Asian-Pacific islander demographic gives candidates a chance to demonstrate their appeal to this key voting bloc.

In 2024 and beyond, Hawaii is likely to remain an influential tail-end contest. Doing well in the Aloha State can give White House hopefuls momentum headed into the summer convention.


The 2024 Hawaii Democratic caucuses, closing at 6:00 PM HST on April 15th, are an important opportunity for Hawaii voters to influence the presidential nomination process. Understanding the caucus process, voter registration requirements, participation guidelines, and Hawaii’s potential influence can empower citizens to have their voices heard.

We hope this guide provides helpful and thorough details for anyone interested in the Hawaii caucus procedures.

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