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Enid News: Town hall emphasizes importance of redrawing congressional districts as census deadline nears

By Kelci McKendrick | Enid News & Eagle



ENID, Okla. — Several state officials and area residents gathered at Autry Technology Center on Tuesday evening to discuss redrawing congressional districts.

The town hall meeting, which was free and open to the public, drew in nearly 20 people, most of them members of the Oklahoma Legislature, as Keith Beall, redistricting director for the Oklahoma Senate, and Quyen Do, redistricting coordinator for the Oklahoma House, gave a presentation about the importance of the process of redrawing congressional districts.

“This is gonna affect our state for the next 10 years,” said Rep. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid, who currently holds House District 40.

This is the first time in history that the U.S. Census has been delayed, Do said, and in the fall, the Legislature will reconvene into special session to complete congressional redistricting and make any necessary adjustments to state legislative districts upon the release of final Census.

Every 10 years, the Oklahoma Legislature is required by law to redraw state legislative and congressional district lines to reflect changes following the federal decennial census.

Due to population shifts within Oklahoma, redistricting is necessary to preserve the constitutional standard of “one person, one vote.”

Oklahoma currently has five congressional districts. Garfield County is in Oklahoma’s 3rd Congressional District, which is the largest in the state and includes much of northern and western Oklahoma, with Republican Congressman Frank Lucas as the current representative.

Across the state, Oklahoma’s population has increased to an estimated nearly 4 million people.

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