Public hearing on flagpole bill prompted after controversial vote - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Public hearing on flagpole bill prompted after controversial vote

Blake Oshiro Blake Oshiro
Tom Brower Tom Brower

By Holly Juscen – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A voting controversy has prompted lawmakers to re-start a discussion over the American flag. House Bill 23-11.. which would force community associations to allow the flying of large outdoor flags on flagpoles, will have a public hearing this wednesday.

The bill failed to advance last week when clerks counted just 14 raised hands during the full house vote.  But over the weekend..  the minority office released video showing 17 hands going up in support... enough to keep the bill alive.

This not only prompted a committee to schedule a new hearing, but it raises questions about the accuracy of the hand vote process.  House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro says it could be confusing, " there is some room for error but that's why we they can challenge it.  They can raise the question but no one did that so the decision becomes final."

There are 3 type of votes to move a bill along --- a voice vote --- a roll call vote ---and hand count vote ---  the hand vote is rarely used only for procedural votes.  During a hand count vote,  3 clerks count the votes as lawmakers raise their hands but some may not raise them high enough. Representative Tom Brower says this can become a issue,  I encourage legislators if they have a hard vote -- raise there hand really high --- it's a tough job for the clerk -- it's like on a football field where there could be a lot of motion.

Despite the debate over the this flagpole bill, Brower says this is the first time he has seen any confusion, " in my four years they have all been accurate --- but we should always scrutinize the political process."

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