KEAAU, Hawaii – Long lines at the Keaau Community Center for the Democratic Party Caucus ruffled voters on Saturday.
The relatively small community center with sparse parking was assigned six of the seven precincts in District 3. Many residents in Puna mauka subdivisions as far away as Volcano Village had to make the trip to Kea’au in order to cast their ballot. Numerous hopeful voters were confused over the status of their membership in the Democratic Party or the precinct they were assigned to, which added to the wait time as things were sorted out.
Some went as far as to declare the long wait was intended by the establishment to suppress the historically left-leaning Puna vote.
We spoke to Volcano resident and journalist Peter Serafin and peace activist Jim Albertini about their impressions during the chaotic caucus.