Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Monday, July 30, 2001

. . . but keep it fair

There's no doubt that incumbent politicians have a much more urgent stake in the work of the state Reapportionment Commission than does the general public.

After all, their political future might be at stake.

But the plain fact is that while the incumbents may have a greater interest in the business of reapportionment, they should not have rights of access to the process superior to those of ordinary citizens.

That's why the commission goofed when it briefed House and Senate lawmakers on proposed maps in closed-door meetings last week. The public won't officially get a look at the draft plans until tomorrow.

Reapportionment is about protecting the constitutional rights of the voters by guaranteeing that the process will be as close to one-person, one-vote as possible.

Political reality may tell us a plan that offends large numbers of powerful sitting elected officials will not get far. So the impulse to run this past the legislators was understandable.

But it also signals an unfortunate lack of understanding about whom this entire process is supposed to serve.