Oklahoma state lawmakers have unveiled their proposals for updated state House and Senate districts.
The maps are redrawn every ten years. The Republican lawmakers leading effort call this the most transparent redistricting process in state history.
“This is truly a map that belongs to the people of Oklahoma,” Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, said.
After 22 town hall meetings, public map submissions and input from every single state lawmaker, redistricting leaders said staff put the final touches on proposed maps late Tuesday.
“We didn’t have any political data on any of the data that we used to draw these districts,” Martinez said. “Both parties were equally consulted and have chances to visit about this process.”
Under the proposed maps, no sitting lawmaker would be forced to run against another lawmaker due to new district lines.
“We are under the belief that people of Oklahoma should decide not to send somebody back to the capitol building not somebody drawing district lines,” Martinez said.
“The maps released today by the state legislature look remarkably similar to the existing maps and are clear evidence that the politicians are content to maintain the status quo,” People Not Politicians Executive Director Andy Moore said.
The Oklahoma City metro will pick up a new House and Senate district.
“There has been this massive shift in population to urban and suburban areas from rural Oklahoma, so we had to make up for that uptick in population,” Martinez said.
Leaders said community input across the state varied from city to city.
“Lots like the idea of having two separate senators representing their district so the district will be split, some communities are very hard set on not having that,” Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle, said.
The maps will be heard in committee next week before possibly being sent to their chambers the week after.