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Commission stands by controversial redistricting data

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Neighbor islanders are urging the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission to reconsider its decision to include nonresident military members in state legislative district counts.

The commission didn’t backtrack Tuesday on last month’s 8-1 vote to count nonresident troops, which is projected to deny the Big Island of a fourth state Senate seat because most military members live on Oahu.

But Reapportionment Commission Chairwoman Victoria Marks said a backup redistricting map that excludes nonresident military should be considered in case a lawsuit is filed and a judge rules against the commission’s decision.

Members of Big Island and Maui reapportionment advisory councils also met at the Hawaii Capitol on Tuesday. 

The group’s chairwoman, Madge Schaefer, says it doesn’t have standing to file a lawsuit but would rally community support for it.

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