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Tulsa World: Final census counts further alter outlook for Tulsa-area congressional, legislative districts

  • Randy Krehbiel

Unexpectedly high population counts in Oklahoma’s two largest urban areas are causing officials to rethink the state’s congressional and legislative redistricting plans, officials said this week.

    Final 2020 census counts show that Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District, which includes Tulsa County, will have to shed twice as many people through redistricting as previously thought, while neighboring CD 2 will have to gain far more than expected.

    Suburban portions of CD 3 and CD 4 in the Oklahoma City area also grew more than expected, while CD 5 — most of Oklahoma County and all of Pottawatomie and Seminole counties — came in, as expected, with a surplus of about 33,000.

    Final 2020 census data, which normally would have been received this spring, was delayed until Aug. 12 because of complications arising from the COVID-19 epidemic.

    Provisional legislative districts based on 2019 population estimates were approved earlier this year but will have to be adjusted in a special session in the fall.

    No provisional congressional districts were drawn, which means that work will also have to be finalized in a special session.

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