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Hawaii County Redistricting Commission ready to go but software tools in limbo

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By Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

The 2011 Hawaii County Redistricting Commission met for the first time Monday (April 25) at the council chambers in Hilo and although the members were ready to work they were informed that the software for the group may not be available for use until the end of May. Negotiations between the state and software vendor Esri are ongoing according to David Rosenbrock, Computer Services Supervisor from the State Office of Elections.

After a welcome speech by Councilman Pete Hoffman and being sworn into office by Mayor Billy Kenoi the group voted on making Rene Siracusa, of Puna, the chairperson and Dru Mamo Kanuha, of Kona, the Vice Chair. The commissioners are:

  • Valerie Poindexter (District 1)
  • Jeffrey Melrose (District 2)
  • John “Mike” Middlesworth (District 3)
  • Patrick Kahawaiolaa (District 4)
  • Rene Siracusa, Chairperson (District 5)
  • Linda Ugalde (District 6)
  • Dru Mamo Kanua, Vice Chair (District 7)
  • Craig “Bo” Kahui (District 8)
  • Joseph Carvalho (District 9)

During a presentation by Rosenbrock commissioners questioned how non-residents were to be identified and ‘extracted’ (not included) in the population numbers for each district. Rosenbrock said the state has a criteria for determining who is or isn’t to be counted as residents but each county in Hawaii can choose to use the state’s definition or they can deviate from that standard.

Some examples cited by Rosenbrock and Siracusa were:

  • Non-resident students
  • Military personnel
  • Inmates
  • Foreign nationals

Rosenbrock said the during the last redistricting the schools would not release the addresses of students so determining what district they should be extracted from was not possible, the military released address information to help determine temporary military residents who should not be counted in the redistricting.

Rosenbrock said that should Hawaii County opt to use different software for redistricting the cost would be in the tens of thousands of dollars and need custom programing to use the U.S. Census data. The commission has a budget for expenses and software of $7,000 for this fiscal year and $75,000 for next year.

After being briefed by Rosenbrock on the software the commission heard presentations by the Office of the Corporation Counsel on the Sunshine Law, ethics and financial disclosures to avoid any conflicts.

The next meeting for the commission is being scheduled for next month.

— Find out more:



Access the Redistricting Online Software at:

Once on the site, you must create your own account. Click on “create an account” – right below the green login button.

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