On Feb. 20, Judge Karen Nakasone dismissed a petition filed by six District 20 voters that would require Rep. Calvin Say to prove that he is eligible to represent Palolo Valley, Kaimuki and St. Louis Heights.
The plaintiffs, Palolo voters, contend that Say, who keeps a house in Palolo and is registered to vote in District 20, actually lives in Pauoa Valley. Say filed a motion to dismiss the petition on Jan. 8. Nakasone’s ruling states only that she does not have the jurisdiction and that authority lies with the city clerk.
“Judge Nakasone’s decision does not address the fact that Calvin Say has lived with his wife and children in Pauoa Valley, outside of his district, for over 20 years. It also makes no judgment on the legal consequences of that fact,” Lance Collins, the plaintiffs’ attorney, told the Weekly.
The Hawaii Constitution requires that a legislator be eligible to vote in the district he or she represents. Collins argues that being registered to vote in a district is not sufficient to prove residency. “Powerful public officials who flout the rules only cast doubt on the integrity of our entire system of government. That is always the broader concern,” said Collins, who is planning to appeal Nakasone’s decision.