Long lines, big turnout at Hawaii Republican caucus

Published: Mar. 9, 2016 at 2:55 AM HST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2016 at 3:43 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In spite of ugly weather, Hawaii Republicans came out in what appeared to be record numbers to cast their ballots in their presidential caucus Tuesday night.

At Kaiser High School in Hawaii Kai, people started lining up even before the doors opened at 6 p.m.  Party volunteers said they have never seen such large numbers.

"I think it's a great turnout, considering the weather," said voter Russell Chow.

Brenda Reichel said the fact that voters braved wind and rain to cast their ballots says a lot.

"The closer we got to Hawaii Kai, to our polling place, there was more and more cars at Kalani High School, I saw them they were turning out there. So I think it is gonna be a good turnout tonight for the caucus," she said.

Voter Theresa Gomez said part of the big turnout was thanks to Democrats voting for a Republican.

"A lot Democrats here tonight going Republican because everyone is really upset about what Obama has done to our country in the eight years that he's been President and we're ready for change," she said.

Trump voters were behind much of the big turnout Tuesday.

"He's an outsider, he's a businessman and we think he might bring something different to the party and America and hopefully right now, since we are $19 trillion in debt, him being a businessman, hopefully he can get us out of the financial hardships," voter Tony Cox said.

Chow said, "He's a non-politician. He's a successful businessman and I think we're ready for a change with a non political individual," Chow said.

Gomez, though, was voting for Cruz.

"He believes in everything in I do, I'm a Christian," she said.

At Kalani High School in Kahala, a line of cars waited to go in, and a line of cars waited to go out.

One of the Kaiser High School volunteers said 300 voters came out to cast ballots last year. This year, he said they ordered 1,000 ballots and about an hour after doors opened, they feared that was not enough. Some voters said they left before voting because the lines were too long.

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