Okla. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Anti-Gerrymandering Petition

Tuesday, January 21st 2020, 8:27 am
By: Grant Hermes

Arguments at the State Supreme Court will begin Tuesday afternoon over a petition that could reshape how and where Oklahomans vote.

At issue, is the language in the petition for state question 804, which would create an independent state commission to change the state’s 149 district boundaries.

Right now, districts are drawn every 10 years by the majority party, often through a process known as gerrymandering where districts are drawn in order to keep one party in power or one party out of power.

Supporters with the group People Not Politicians advocate the need to change the state’s district boundaries to ensure more fair elections with more diverse districts.

Opponents of the petition say it violates a state law that has doomed several other statewide petitions in recent years. They say Tuesday's hearing isn't about whether gerrymandering is good or bad, but whether the petition for state question 804 violates the state's single subject rule. The rule prevents petitions from changing more than one area of the state's constitution through a statewide vote. The attorney for the opponents, Robert McCampbell declined to comment on the record until after the hearing.

Executive Director for People Not Politicians, Andy Moore, said Monday he was confident that not only the Supreme Court will approve the petition but also get the 178,000 signatures needed to get the petition on the ballot by the November election.

Things kick off at a rally Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the Capitol before supporters to make their way to the Supreme Court. Arguments start at 2 p.m.