By Tres Savage -
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
After months of public meetings and consideration, the House and Senate revealed their proposals for new Oklahoma legislative districts today, with those involved in the process saying that community feedback significantly affected the results.
“I think you’ll see a lot of areas that look like a lot of the maps that were submitted (by the public),” said House Redistricting Committee Chairman Ryan Martinez (R-Edmond). “This is truly a map that belongs to the people of Oklahoma and am absolutely happy to present that today.”
Comparing the proposed new maps (linked below) with existing legislative districts, Oklahomans will notice two major changes. House District 36 will move from Osage County to east Oklahoma County. In the Senate, District 18 will shift from the Tulsa area to the Oklahoma County and Canadian County border. The OKC metro area has seen the largest population growth in the state over the past 10 years.
“Our map just visually looks better and has better compactness scores (than the current Senate map),” said Senate Redistricting Committee Chairman Lonnie Paxton (R-Tuttle).
Both chambers of the Legislature will need to approve the new Oklahoma legislative districts before sine die adjournment near the end of May, and redistricting leaders said they will wait at least seven days before hearing the related bills so that Oklahomans can offer further comment.
“We listened to everybody,” Paxton said, noting that input from Norman residents led to Senate District 16 being redrawn to encompass almost the entire city.