November-December 1990 Home   Newsletters

January 1991

February 1991

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Reapportionment is Just Around the Corner
Don't Just Sit There
Pilot Recycling Program to Begin at Selected Schools
Bill of Rights Bicentennial to be Remembered
Membership Update
Initiative Forum

Reapportionment is Just Around the Corner

The holiday season is over and you are expecting peace and quiet. No such luck! Reapportionment is just around the corner.

Ten years ago, the LWV of Hawaii was deeply involved in the state's reapportionment by monitoring the process and taking part in a law suit against the state. And, WE won. And, it is no understatement to say that our winning points turned the state up-sidedown. Committee members still get fits of giggles just thinking about the fun we had ... some of them even say they never had such a good time either before or since.

According to our state constitution, the bipartisan Reapportionment Commission must be appointed by March 1, 1991. Once these eight members agree on the ninth (their Chairperson), the action begins.

The Commission is responsible for drawing new state legislative and congressional districts to reflect changes in population throughout our state. Some lines may change a great deal, others perhaps just a little. We must be there to watch what happens.

Based on the long held League position supporting the one person-one vote principle, the LWV/ Hawaii argued that using the numbers of registered voters for state legislative districts (as required by the state constitution) and congressional districts (as required by statute) was an unconstitutional violation of one person-one vote. The federal district court agreed with us.

But since constitutional amendments changing these provisions to bring them in conformity with federal court rulings failed twice (in the 1988 and 1990 elections) and because the Legislature has not changed the statute, these legally vulnerable provisions still stand.

Will the Commission ignore the federal guidelines as determined by the courts and thus invite a legal challenge? To be a part of this drama, please join the State League's reapportionment committee. We plan on an introductory briefing meeting for late January and future meetings as needed.

To join the LWV of Hawaii's
Reapportionment Committee
Please call or write
Anne F. Lee

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