Oklahoma Watch
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Capitol Watch

After Oklahoma Lawmakers Unveil Redistricting Plan, Here’s How To Make Your Voice Heard

A small group of supporters of a ballot initiative that would create an independent redistricting panel gathered outside the State Capitol last year. The push to get a state question on the ballot last year ultimately failed. (Whitney Bryen/Oklahoma Watch) Credit: Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

By Trevor Brown | Capitol/Investigative Reporter

It’s out!

State lawmakers unveiled their legislative redistricting plan on Thursday.

The House and Senate plans have a long ways to go, including a possible revision when lawmakers are expected to return for a special session later this year.

But whatever is in the final version will have long-lasting impacts to the state’s political makeup for years to come. (You can read more about the plan and what’s next in my takeways).

The public, however, will have a limited amount of time to weigh in on the plan since it could be up for a committee vote as early as Wednesday. So here are some ways to make sure your voice is heard:

  • Visit the official House and Senate redistricting pages to view the new plans, compare them to the old ones and read about the redistricting guidelines.
  • As I previously reported, Oklahoma committees rarely take public comment before they vote on bills. But both chambers are specifically looking for input from the public. Send in your comments on the House plan here and the Senate plan here.
  • Make your own map! The Legislature partnered with an interactive online tool called, Dave’s Redistricting App (DRA) to let Oklahomans try their hand at drawing state legislative districts. The app is free to use.
  • See alternative plans. Seven members of the public submitted their own House plans. Nine Senate alternatives can be found at this link by scrolling down to the “Public Maps Submissions” header.

Finally, I’ll be continuing to follow and report as the process moves forward. So if you have any thoughts, concerns or questions, email me at tbrown@oklahomawatch.org or hit me up on Twitter at @tbrownokc.

The Top Story

The House’s redistricting proposal.

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Legislature’s Redistricting Proposals

Republican House and Senate leaders unveiled their proposed legislative redistricting plans, setting up potential floor votes on the packages within weeks. Here is what to know about the big changes, concerns about gerrymandering and the next steps ahead. [Read more …]

Tweet Watch

Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, offered a blistering critique of a Republican colleague on Friday. It occurred after Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, sent a press release about a bill to ban plastic straws (The bill is more of an attempted slam of liberal environmentalists than a serious proposal so don’t dwell too much on that).

Anyway, in his release, which was sent out on official Senate letterhead and from the Senate’s communications office, Dahm included a decidedly unfunny and inappropriate joke directed at Vice President Kamala Harris. The comments were met with widespread condemnation, including from the Republican Senate leader.

What I’m Reading This Week

  • A bill that seeks to reverse Gov. Kevin Stitt’s move to shift the state’s Medicaid program to a managed care model run by private for-profit companies continues to advance through the Legislature. The proposal passed the House on a 73-17 vote and will next return to the Senate. [The Duncan Banner]
  • A bill that would do away with a polarizing charter school settlement and offer new revenue to public schools passed unanimously in the Oklahoma House.  [The Oklahoman]
  • Stitt signed a bill Wednesday to crack down on protesters by increasing penalties for blocking roadways and granting immunity to motorists who kill or injure rioters. [The Associated Press]
  • An intraparty feud is brewing in the Senate. Treat’s decision not to hear an anti-abortion bill in its original form has the president of the powerful Oklahoma Second Amendment Association calling for Treat to be removed as Oklahoma’s top senator.  [The Oklahoman]
  • What will happen to a proposal to begin phasing out the state’s corporate income tax? Stitt is throwing his support behind a plan passed by the House. The Senate is still balking. [Public Radio Tulsa]

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