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New election maps approved; legal challenge likely

By B.J. Reyes

LAST UPDATED: 4:54 p.m. HST, Sep 26, 2011

The state Reapportionment Commission today gave final approval to new maps for the state’s political boundaries.

The plan is expected to be challenged in court by Big Island groups who say the plan is based on a population count that includes too many non-permanent residents, such as military members and students, who are not Hawaii voters.

That count denies the Big Island of gaining a fourth seat in the state Senate, based on overall population growth over the past decade.

Commission members also approved a plan to stagger half of the seat in the state Senate.

The state Office of Elections is required to publish the new plans by Oct. 10.

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