Senate makes public proposed new district maps
Mike Seals - April 21, 2021 10:23 pm
Chair says open & transparent process produced better maps
OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate leaders on Wednesday made public the new district maps and the chair of the redistricting committee says the open and transparent process this time produced better maps.
“Throughout the process, the Senate has operated openly and transparently. We held 22 town hall meetings, both virtual and in-person, across Oklahoma in coordination with the House. We sought public input at every stage, including accepting public map submissions, and shared those results through our website. Because of the open and transparent redistricting process, the Senate district maps this year are more compact and better by most criteria than the 2010 district maps,” said Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle and chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting.
“The state Constitution vests the responsibility for redistricting with the Oklahoma Legislature, and we faithfully carried out that charge,” said Sen. Dave Rader, R-Tulsa and vice chair of the redistricting committee. “I appreciate the leadership of Senator Paxton, the diligence and hard work of the Senate redistricting staff, and my fellow senators for their dedication to carrying out this important constitutional duty.”
DISTRICT MAP HIGHLIGHTS
- The new population number for Senate districts will be 81,935; the population number of the 2010 Senate districts was 78,153.
- The largest district is District 27 with a perimeter of 765.21 miles.
- The smallest district is District 30 with a perimeter is 23.2 miles
- The Senate Select Committee on Redistricting adopted guidelines that no individual boundary would deviate more than 5 percent; the new district maps have a deviation of 3.84 percent.
- District 48 is 1.97 percent over
- District 23 is 1.87 percent below
- Senate District 18 is moving from eastern Oklahoma to the Oklahoma City metropolitan area to accommodate rapid population growth in the Oklahoma City suburbs.
- The new maps have more whole counties within Senate districts. Fifty-four counties are wholly located within Senate districts under the new maps; the 2010 maps had 51 counties whole.
- The maps include several requests the redistricting committee received via public comments including:
- A request from eastern Oklahoma for LeFlore and McCurtain counties to remain in one Senate district.
- A request to keep Pontotoc County within one senate district.
- A request to keep Bryan County within one senate district.
- A request from six of the nine publicly submitted maps to make District 16 a Norman-centric district.
- A request from Lawton community leaders to have their community represented by two state senators.
- A request from Duncan area leaders that Duncan continue to be served by two senators.
The Senate Select Committee on Redistricting is scheduled to hold a public meeting next week to consider the redistricting bill, which will be filed this week. That committee meeting will be livestreamed on the Oklahoma Senate website.
If approved by the redistricting committee, the redistricting bill would go to the full Senate for consideration. If approved by the Senate, the redistricting bill would go to the Oklahoma House for consideration. If redistricting bills from the Senate and House pass from both chambers, the bills would go to the governor for signature or veto.
“Throughout our process, we have requested and welcomed public input and that has not changed with the introduction of new district maps. Please reach out to your representatives in the Senate and House with your comments on the new district maps,” Paxton said.
The new district maps and related materials, all comments submitted by the public, as well as archived video of all redistricting town hall meetings and training sessions can be found on the Senate website at www.oksenate.gov/redistricting. The public can submit comments any time to the Senate redistricting staff via e-mail [email protected].