Thursday, March 30, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Victory for Civil Rights: All Persons shall be counted for Hawaii reapportionment
By Selected News Articles @ 2:11 AM :: 7319 Views :: Energy, Environment

AP: Hawaii to begin including troops in districts

Members of the commission said it wasn't fair to continue omitting troops when they make valuable contributions to the community.

"It's important that we have inclusiveness," said Commissioner Clarice Hashimoto. "If we decide to exclude the military and exclude their dependents, I think we would be excluding a large number of people who are very active members of our community."

Military members have testified before the commission at several meetings this month urging it to count nonresident troops, even though they can't vote (yes they can) because they deserve representation, pay taxes and frequently volunteer in their neighborhoods.

"They did listen to our testimony about the contributions that military personnel make, and about how they are part of the community," said Tom Smyth, president for the Hawaii chapter for the Military Officers Association of America. "I'm very pleased it came out the way it did." …

But the group eventually came to the conclusion that it wasn't fair to continue overlooking the military in a state where they make up the largest proportion of the overall population in the nation.

"I appreciate and understand the concerns of rural communities," said Commissioner Terry Thomason. "Our obligation first is to ensure each individual is represented."

Nonresident military had been passed over in district lines since Hawaii became a state in 1959, and again following 1992 when voters approved a constitutional amendment to use the total number of permanent residents for apportioning legislative districts. But the meaning of "permanent resident" was never defined, and it was interpreted to mean that military based in Hawaii were here temporarily.

Now that the commission has decided to include all of the state's 1.36 million people in political districts, it will begin work on setting political boundaries.

The commission has an Aug. 8 deadline to prepare a preliminary plan, and then a final plan would be decided following public comment during the week of Sept. 26.

CB: Hawaii Panel Votes to Include Military, Students

"Just because it didn't in the past doesn't mean it shouldn't be done differently in the future," said Republican Party chief Dylan Nonaka, a commission member who introduced the motion to use the U.S. Census count as the state's redistricting population base. "I think in a lot of ways it was a wrong decision and this is maybe a chance for us to right a wrong."

…Harold Masumoto, an Oahu Democrat who has served on previous incarnations of the panel and told Civil Beat previously he splits his time between Honolulu and the Big Island, was happy to have support from Republicans for a position he'd try to push for before.

"The military really are a part of the community now. Things have changed from 20 years ago, 50 years ago when I was in the military. You were here temporarily," he said. "But now, the military are entirely different kind of military now. They're all volunteers, and a lot of them I think, even if they're on active duty here and we exclude them, they have an intent to remain here."

The vote came after a 90-minute session behind closed doors. Commission Chair Victoria Marks, a retired judge, told Civil Beat after the vote that the commission had received a written opinion from the Attorney General's Office but that she had no plans to release it to the public because of attorney-client privilege and because the panel's already been threatened with a lawsuit.

Though she expressed support for and eventually voted in favor of the motion, Judge Marks said she was concerned about a 2005 Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that determined the Big Island should not have counted non-resident military when it decided its county council seats in 2001.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii