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Local GOP voters prepare for first-ever caucuses

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Voting in 10 states today, Super Tuesday, could bring more order to the Republican presidential campaign before Hawaii Republicans get the chance to show their preferences next week.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul will be on the ballot in Hawaii March 13 as the state Republican Party hosts its first-ever presidential caucuses.

Seventeen of the state’s 20 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., in August will be awarded to presidential candidates based on the results of the caucuses.

The state GOP chose to hold caucuses as a party-building tool after record turnout in the 2008 local Democratic caucuses, when Hawaii-born Barack Obama was a presidential candidate.

Hawaii Republicans will vote between 6 and 8 p.m. at locations across the state. Voters must join the party to participate. Caucus locations are listed at

Hawaii Democrats, meanwhile, will hold their presidential preference poll at 7 p.m. Wednesday to formally back Obama for re-election. A list of precinct meeting locations is available at www.hawaiidemo­

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and other top Democrats held an "Obama Ohana" rally Sunday at Washington Middle School.

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