Updated: 3/6/12 7:15 p.m.

The state Reapportionment Commission on Tuesday again revised proposed political boundaries for Oahu House districts and scheduled a final vote for Thursday.

The latest map would still pit six pairs of House incumbents against one another for re-election, but two of those match-ups involve different lawmakers from before. It also would still force a face-off between two incumbent senators.

The proposal has not yet been uploaded to the reapportionment site, but can be viewed through mapping software in the meantime by logging in here.

Commissioner Dylan Nonaka, who sits on the four-member technical committee that draws the lines, said the latest map reduces the overall deviation among Oahu House seats to less than 9 percent.

“The goal was always to try and draw the best map possible and keep as many communities together and make districts that make the most sense going forward,” he told the commission. “Our goal was not to make something look like it did before, it was to start off and have a clean slate … and come up with the best map possible.”

Nonaka said there weren’t any drastic changes in Tuesday’s plan, but noted that the technical committee was able to “put Makiki back together,” while Central and West Oahu were mostly unchanged from the previous plan.

Some district lines in downtown/Kalihi and Windward Oahu were shifted slightly, he said. The districts for Oahu Senate and all other island units were unchanged.

Commission Chairwoman Victoria Marks said she recognizes that people will be unhappy no matter where the lines fall.

“We’ve heard a lot about, in a sense, trying to keep the status quo. That isn’t what redistricting’s about,” she said. “Redistricting is really about changes. And change can be a difficult thing to deal with for many people.

“We’re not here to make people happy; we’re not here to make people unhappy. We’re really here to manage the change that has occurred in the population.”

The sets of incumbent lawmakers forced into head-to-head match ups under Tuesday’s proposal is still seen as disadvantageous for Republicans and a dissident faction of Democrats who oppose House Speaker Calvin Say.

The match-ups under Tuesday’s plan are:

  • Jerry Chang (D) and Mark Nakashima (D) in South Hilo1
  • Pono Chong (D) and Jessica Wooley (D) in Kaneohe
  • Mark Hashem (D) and Barbara Marumoto (R) in Kahala
  • Kymberly Pine (R) and Rida Cabanilla (D) in Ewa
  • Scott Saiki (D) and Scott Nishimoto (D) in Kaimuki
  • Mark Takai (D) and Heather Giugni (D) in Pearl City

And in the Senate:

  • Carol Fukunaga (D) and Brian Taniguchi (D) in Makiki

Under a previous proposal, Saiki would have challenged Della Au Belatti instead of Nishimoto. Wooley would have challenged Gil Riviere, a Republican, instead of Chong. Takai previously was reapportioned out of his district, but faced no opponent until Giugni, appointed by the governor to replace Tom Okamura, was sworn into a neighboring seat.

The match-ups will create an equal number of open seats in surrounding areas.

Under the Sunshine Law, the proposed plan has to be considered at two meetings. The commission has scheduled a final vote on the latest plan for Thursday afternoon.

Once a final plan is approved, it would then be filed with the state Supreme Court and Office of Elections. The Office of Elections has said legislative candidates would be able to pull nomination papers soon after.


Follow the 2012 elections with our elections guide including a detailed elections calendar.


  1. An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported Mark Nakashima’s last name.
     

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