Hawaii News Proposed city district maps will determine voter count for Honolulu City Council seats By Ashley Mizuo firstname.lastname@example.org Oct. 2, 2021 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Honolulu’s Reapportionment Commission is weighing three proposed city district maps that determine the count of voters for each of the nine Honolulu City Council seats. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Honolulu’s Reapportionment Commission is weighing three proposed city district maps that determine the count of voters for each of the nine Honolulu City Council seats. Every 10 years, using U.S. census data, the city commission is tasked with redrawing the Council district lines to address fluctuations in population. Two public hearings on the maps are set for public hearings on the proposed maps on Oct. 7 and 11 at 6 p.m. through webex. The plans can be viewed in person at Honolulu Hale or at honolulu.gov/elections. The commission consists of nine members appointed by the Council. There cannot be more than five members from the same political party. Former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, a Republican, is chairman of the commission. Four commissioners have no political affiliation, three are Democrats and two are Republicans. Also, commissioners are barred from running for a Council seat in the election following reapportionment. One of the main challenges facing the commission is complying with a one-person, one-vote rule that requires each district to have the same number of people. Given that full compliance can be problematic, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a deviation under 10% is acceptable. The updated numbers the commission is working with says Oahu has 1,016,508 residents. That means each of the nine districts should have 112,945 residents. In adhering to the high court ruling, no district should have more than 124,239 people or fewer than 101,650. All three plans that the commission chose to advance Wednesday have less than a 10% deviation. One map, the Modified Existing Districts Plan, does little to change the current district lines. However, it has a 6.82% deviation — the highest of the proposed plans. Two versions of a map titled Kaena/Makapuu Plan advanced. Draft One, which was proposed by Commissioner Chace Shigemasa, makes the most adjustments in the urban Honolulu area. Shigemasa explained that the map follows the island’s ridgelines, connecting each district from the mountains to the ocean. “You have these ahupuaa-type districts where they go from mountain to sea,” Shigemasa said. “They’re not jagged, and cut in each community. … We use common ridgelines, census blocks, to draw these districts.” The draft, which has a deviation of 4.36%, would also move Ahuimanu from District 3 to District 2. Draft Two, which was proposed by Commissioner Burt Lau, keeps District 3, 4, 5 and 6 generally intact, but like Draft One adjusts District 7 to include Salt Lake, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island and Alewa Heights. Council member Carol Fukunaga, who represents District 6, which would be heavily altered in both Kaena/Makapuu Plan drafts, will hit her term limit in 2022. That means, if either plan is selected, the voting population for the open seat will see dramatic changes. “The reapportionment process for City Council districts seeks to ensure fair representation for all residents of Oahu,” Fukunaga said. “Further, it allows residents to engage by voicing their opinions, which I encourage everyone to do.” Council member Brandon Elefante, who represents District 8, will also hit his term limit in 2022. Council member Andria Tupola, who represents District 1, which is not significantly altered by any of the plans, favored the Kaena/Makapuu Plan drafts over the Modified Existing Plan. “The Modified Existing Plan offers no major changes and furthers population disparities among existing Council districts,” she said. “It does not preserve communities of similar interest, and favors those already in positions of political power.” While the commission is tasked with selecting the Council districts map, Tupola pointed out that reapportionment can be challenged in court. The commission is slated to pick a plan by Jan. 2. After it’s filed with the city clerk’s office, the plan will be in effect for the next election. The plan does not need to be approved by the Council or the mayor. After the plan is filed, registered voters have 45 days to petition for court action against the new map. Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Councilmember Carol Fukunaga's district, misspelled Commissioner Chace Shigemasa's first name, and posted an incorrect time for the next Reapportionment Commission public meeting. Previous Story House speaker asks for limited number of fans for University of Hawaii game Next Story Kokua Line: Can I count Unemployment Insurance as income toward a new claim?