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Saturday, May 23, 2020
Hawaii Democratic Primary: RCV Wipes out all Candidates Except Biden, Sanders
By News Release @ 7:34 PM :: 949 Views :: Democratic Party


Biden gets 63.2% of ranked choice vote, Sanders 36.8%

Biden will receive ten Congressional District delegates, Sanders will receive five

News Release from Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, May 23, 2020

Honolulu - Democratic Party of Hawai‘i Interim Chair Kate Stanley announced the results of the Party-run Presidential Primary, following the tabulation of all returned ballots today.

Statewide results from ranked choice voting

  • Joseph R. Biden: 21,215
  • Bernie Sanders: 12,337
  • Exhausted Ballots (other): 1,424
  • Voided ballots: 68

Out of the active final round ranked choice ballots, Biden received 63.2 percent of the votes, and Sanders received 36.8 percent.

A total of 79,150 ballots were mailed to enrolled registered party members, and 35,044 were returned by mail, for a turnout of 44.28 percent.


Biden will receive 5 delegates from Congressional District 1 and 5 delegates from CD2, for a total of 10 delegates. Sanders will receive 2 delegates from CD1 and 3 from CD2 for a total of 5. No other candidates reached the 15 percent threshold needed to receive delegates.

In addition to the 15 Congressional District delegates, the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i sends six At-Large and three PLEO delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Per DNC rule 11.C, Sanders is no longer eligible to be allocated At-Large or PLEO delegates. However, per an agreement between the Biden and Sanders campaigns, Sanders will be unofficially assigned his share of those delegates. Therefore, the effective allocation will be 16 total delegates for Biden and 8 total delegates for Sanders.

Ranked Choice Voting

The election was conducted using ranked choice voting. If a voter’s first choice candidate did not receive 15 percent within their congressional district, their second-choice candidate received their vote. And if their second-choice candidate also did not reach 15 percent, their third-choice candidate got their vote. If none of their three choices reached 15 percent, their ballot is considered “exhausted.” The round by round Congressional District voting totals are available in the attached memo.

Additional information

Today’s election had been scheduled for April 4, 2020, but the Party extended the deadline for mail ballots after COVID-19 forced the cancelation of walk-in voting. The deadline for ballots to be received in the mail was yesterday.

This is the first year Hawaii’s Party-run Presidential Primary was conducted by mail. In 2016, 33,713 Democrats participated in the in-person Presidential Preference Poll.

Please note that the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i’s Party-run Presidential Primary is separate from the State of Hawai‘i state-run primary and general elections, which will be held on August 8, 2020 and November 3, 2020. For more information on the state-run elections, please visit:


LINK: Printout of Results Thru 10 Rounds of RCV Process


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