Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 |
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LIHUE — A little more than 70 percent of those who responded to the Charter Review Commission’s online districting survey said they wanted some kind of change in Kauai’s voting system for the county council.
The survey, which ran from Dec. 4 to Dec. 30, was conducted in conjunction with the county’s information and technology department, using the software surveymonkey.com.
About 500 people took the survey, which was a pleasant surprise for the Charter Review Commission, according to Allan Parachini, who was selected as the Commission’s new chairman on Jan 25.
“When we started accepting responses Dec. 4., we had hoped we would get at least 250 responses, we ended up with almost 500,” Parachini said. “If you look at margins of error, that gives us a sample size that in statistical terms ‘should’ be fairly reliable.”
Parachini explained that it is well known that online polling is a “self-selected process, more than the classic old-fashioned field poll,” but the data retrieved is still usable.
The survey consisted of four questions. The first three asked about districting, and the last one asked if the poll responder was registered to vote in Kauai County.
“We felt it was important to keep it short, brief and easy so we would not unduly impose on people or ask them to make very fine judgments,” Parachini said. “We wanted them to tell us do you want to have a districting system at all and if so, what should it look like.”
The first question asked “Would you be in favor of a County Council that is composed of …” and then it listed five different districting options.
One of those options was “no change from the current at-large system,” which means everyone who is elected onto the County Council represents the entire island, and all registered voters who go to the polls vote for all of the seats. In total, 29.4 percent of those polled were in favor of no changes.
Everyone else, though, was in favor of some kind of change.
A system with five cuncil members elected by districts, and two elected on an at-large basis garnered the most support, with 24.2 percent of those who wanted change voting in favor of that method.
The second-most popular method was seven members, each representing a different district. That option received 23.3 percent of the votes.
Felicia Cowden said she was more inclined to support a method with three members representing districts, and four members elected at large, “but there’s a much bigger weight for having more districts.”
The last option is to have four members elected to represent districts, and three members elected on an at-large basis.
The Charter Review Commission decided to defer the matter until the next meeting on Feb 22.
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