Hawaii Republican Caucuses: Kahala

Sophie Cocke/ Civil Beat

Canes and wheelchairs speckled the mob of voters that stretched out the doors of Kalani High School’s cafeteria into Kahala's nighttime air. Volunteers shouted directions to the crowd, which included large numbers of senior citizens and Caucasians who turned out in droves for the first-ever Republican caucus in Hawaii.

More than 80 people had gathered before the paper ballot voting even began, and volunteers estimated that a total of several hundred people came out in District 18 and 19, which includes Hawaii Kai, Diamond Head, Kahala and Kaimuki. Voting remained strong throughout the evening, and poll workers finally finished with the last of the ballots by 8:30 p.m.

The nation’s fiscal policy was the top concern among voters interviewed by Civil Beat, many of whom brushed off hot button social issues, such as abortion and birth control that have become central issues in the national election.

“I’m pretty sure people can afford $9 a month to buy a month’s supply of birth control at Target if it’s an important issue to them,” said Charles Oconner, 64, as he stood in line to vote for Mitt Romney. He called the debate over a requirement that health plans cover birth control "a canard" that was diverting attention away from more salient issues, namely balancing the budget.

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