Redistricting chairs comment on final passage of redistricting plans
Mike Seals - May 12, 2021 10:48 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Senate each in bipartisan and overwhelming votes on Wednesday approved new legislative district maps.
By law, the Legislature must redraw its legislative and congressional district boundaries to reflect changes in population every 10 years immediately following the decennial Census. Under the Oklahoma Constitution, redistricting plans for state legislative districts must be completed by the end of this year’s regular session.
“At the outset, we pledged to have an open and transparent redistricting process and we delivered. At every turn, we engaged with the public and sought their input in the redistricting process as part of our commitment to transparency. The results were maps that are more compact and better than the current legislative boundaries,” said Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle and chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting.
“The new redistricting boundaries ensure each Oklahoman has an equal voice in state and national government for the next ten years,” said. Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond and chair of the House Redistricting committee. “This year, every member of the House served on a redistricting committee, and over 20 public meetings, including virtual, were held to get as much input as possible into this important process. I’m glad to send these plans to the governor’s desk so they can be signed into law and fully implemented.”
The House and Senate, from December to March held 22 town hall meetings – 18 in person and four virtual – to solicit input from the public. All Oklahomans were invited to attend, ask questions, submit testimony and talk to lawmakers and staff about what makes the most sense for their community. Meetings were livestreamed, when possible, and recorded and archived on the House and Senate websites. Redistricting maps and all related materials are available for review on the redistricting websites of the House and the Senate. The public can submit questions to the Senate at any time via email at [email protected] and to the House via email at [email protected].
Congressional redistricting has no deadline. The Legislature plans to reconvene in a special session in the fall to complete congressional redistricting and make any necessary adjustments to legislative districts upon the release of final Census data. The U.S. Census Bureau failed to meet the April 1 deadline to release final data to the states and has announced the data will be released in September.
Details will be announced soon on town hall meetings regarding congressional redistricting.