Chair Keith-Agaran, Vice Chair Rhoads, and members of the Committee on Judiciary,
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii supports adding a residency requirement for members appointed to the Reapportionment Commission,
This would be a process improvement over the current approach to appointing Commission members, and would help guarantee that residents throughout Hawaii are adequately represented on the Commission.
Ideally, the residence of the Commission’s members would correspond closely to the
geographic distribution of our resident population. But because there are currently four
appointing authorities for eight members of the Commission, achieving and maintaining this
proportionality is difficult. Presuming the legislature wants to maintain the current political
method of appointing members, the League suggests that this bill be amended to require that each of the four appointing authorities appoint one person from Cahu and a second person from a different island. Having four of the eight appointed members from Oahu and four of the eight members from other islands would not be the ideal, but would be a fairer geographic balance than the current approach. The ninth member of the Commission, its Chair, could continue to be selected using the current provisions of Article IV, Section 2.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on this important matter.