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Thursday, April 17, 2014         

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Panel produces amended state House district map

By B.J. Reyes

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The state Reapportionment Commission today unveiled new boundary lines for Oahu House districts to address concerns raised by critics who argued the latest lines divided communities and were favorable to current leadership in the House.

A final vote on proposals for the reapportionment and redistricting plans is set for Thursday.

The new maps make some changes from a proposal presented last week, but still keep seven pairs of incumbents in the same districts — six in the House, one in the Senate — forcing them to run against each other.

Two of the head-to-head match-ups in the House would change, compared to the previous map.

Rep. Scott Saiki (D, Moiliili-McCully) would be in the same district as Rep. Scott Nishimoto (D, Kaimuki-Waikiki) and Rep. Jessica Wooley (D, Laie-Kahuku) would be placed in the same district as Rep. Pono Chong (D, Maunawili-Kaneohe), the House Majority leader.

The maps were revisited after a dissident faction of House Democrats accused the commission of gerrymandering by drawing new districts favorable to Speaker Calvin Say.

The dissident faction, which has been trying to oust Say as speaker, said new districts placed more of their members in races against incumbents and inserted more of their members into districts with greater numbers of new voters.







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