Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall announced the House will use a citizen-driven redistricting process, according to a press release.
In 2011, the House introduced a transparent redistricting process that received bipartisan praise, and this measure will take the process one step further by soliciting input from the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the executive branch, and state, county and local officials.
The process will begin next year following the 2020 decennial census and will be overseen by a bipartisan redistricting committee, with subcommittees focusing on different regions of the state.
“The House process in 2011 was well-received by the public and was praised by both the majority and minority parties in the House because it included citizens and was transparent,” said McCall, R-Atoka, in a press release.
McCall said the committee will travel around the state and will receive input from citizens in town hall meetings. The House has also created an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, to allow citizens to make suggestions and have their voices heard throughout the process.
“Citizens want to be more involved in the redistricting process, and I believe our constituents have valuable perspectives that should be considered related to their representation at the Capitol,” McCall said in the press release.
Legislative redistricting takes place every 10 years following the release of the decennial U.S. Census data. Under the Oklahoma Constitution, each legislative chamber engages in redistricting to update its districts to reflect population changes and other factors, according to a press release.
According to the press release, McCall plans to name members of the Redistricting Committee in early 2020. Work will begin in 2020 and will be finalized through legislation considered in 2021.