Local Connection: Legislative Districts

By Rick Blangiardi

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A State commission is currently looking at reapportionment. That's redrafting boundaries for legislative districts.

The idea is fairness - make sure everyone gets the same clout. But the commission may be on the verge of doing the opposite. It wants to base those districts on all residents including military.

Superficially that's fair - but the issue is more complex than that.

Many military prefer to vote in other states where they have permanent homes.

And a constitutional amendment two decades ago specifically changed the definition of the voting base to permanent residents.

This is not a mere detail, because most military personnel live on Oahu.

The commission should be very careful about switching to new system which might go against the state constitution, and would definitely reduce the proportional voting clout of residents of other islands.

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