Redistricting committees announce congressional map submission deadline – work ongoing to modify legislative maps
Published: August 29th, 2021
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
OKLAHOMA CITY – The chairs of the Oklahoma Senate and Oklahoma House of Representatives redistricting committees have announced October 10 as the deadline for public map submissions for congressional redistricting.
“Our series of in-person and virtual town halls were successful and helped us maintain our commitment to an open and transparent process that incorporates input from the public. Now is the time for the public to submit congressional redistricting maps, and we welcome their contributions to the process,” said Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle and chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting.
The public can submit congressional redistricting maps to the Senate via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the House via email at email@example.com .
Public map submissions are limited to one submission per person. Submissions must be from Oklahoma citizens. Each map must include a statewide plan for all five congressional districts.
More information on the parameters for public map submissions can be found here (https://okhouse.gov/Documents/Districts/2021%20House%20Public%20Map%20Submission%20Parameters%20Congress.pdf ). Detailed instructions on how to submit a map can be found here (https://okhouse.gov/Documents/Districts/DRA%20Detailed%20Instructions%20Congress.pdf ).
The Senate and House redistricting committees earlier this month wrapped up a series of in-person and virtual town hall meetings on the congressional redistricting process. The Senate and House held 29 town hall meetings about both legislative and congressional redistricting around the state and online. Recordings of those meetings are available on the redistricting websites of the Senate and the House.
“We are counting on the public to take ownership of congressional redistricting just as they did for legislative redistricting,” said Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, chairman of the House State and Federal Redistricting Committee. “Oklahoma will maintain five congressional seats that will require adjustments to account for population growth and other factors prescribed in law. Public input will once again be vital to getting these districts drawn properly for the next decade.”
Paxton and Martinez also say the legislative redistricting committees will hold a joint meeting the week of Oct. 18 at which the public can present congressional redistricting maps to the committees. The time, date and location will be announced later. Meeting notices will be shared publicly and posted online.
The redistricting chairs also said work is ongoing to adjust legislative maps now that the U.S. Census Bureau has provided data from the decennial census to states. The Census Bureau failed last year to meet the federal deadline to provide states with decennial census data, forcing the Legislature to rely on other data sets from the Census Bureau.
“We prepared for the possibility that once the Census count data was released, the legislative maps might need adjustment. Now that we finally have the data, we are reviewing it and working toward making any adjustments to the legislative redistricting maps, just as we planned for and as our committee rules call for,” Paxton said.
Martinez and Paxton said the legislative redistricting committees would hold one more virtual town hall meeting to cover legislative redistricting on Sept. 15 at 6 p.m.
“As contemplated this session, the House map enacted in regular session will need adjustment in special session. Statewide population in the final Census data was generally within estimates, but some individual House districts did see deviation beyond the estimates,” Martinez said. “Oklahomans can expect another transparent, inclusive process to make adjustments based on final population data. The final map after adjustments should still be substantially similar to the excellent map enacted with overwhelming bipartisan support in regular session.”
The public can send comments at any time to the Senate and House redistricting committees via email. More information about legislative and congressional redistricting can be found on the redistricting websites of the Senate and the House.