Oklahoma enacts new congressional, legislative maps

On Nov. 22, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed new congressional and legislative maps into law. These maps will take effect for the state’s 2022 congressional and legislative elections. Oklahoma is the 17th state to complete congressional redistricting, and the 21st state to complete legislative redistricting.

The Oklahoma State Senate approved the Senate map in a 46-1 vote on Nov. 17, and the House approved the Senate map 95-1 on Nov. 19. The only dissenting votes came from Sen. Nathan Dahm (R) and Rep. Wendi Stearman (R). The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved the House map 88-3 on Nov. 17, and the Senate approved the House map 44-2 on Nov. 19. Reps. Stearman, Tommy Hardin (R), and Eric Roberts (R) cast no votes in the House. Sens. Dahm and George Young (D) cast no votes in the Senate.

The Oklahoma state legislature previously approved a different set of legislative maps for the 2020 redistricting cycle. The legislature drew the maps using the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data for 2015 through 2019, and Stitt signed them into law on May 13, 2021. On Aug. 23, the House and Senate redistricting committee chairs announced the first round of enacted maps would have to be redrawn following the release of 2020 census data.

The congressional map had narrower margins of approval in the legislature. The Oklahoma House of Representatives voted 75-19 to approve the map on Nov. 17, and the Oklahoma State Senate voted to approve the map 36-10 on Nov. 19. Eighteen Democrats and one Republican voted no in the House. Nine Democrats and one Republican voted no in the Senate.

Rep. Collin Walke (D), who voted against the congressional map, said: “While I have no doubt that somebody wasn’t sitting there looking at the numbers of Democrats versus Republicans while literally drawing this map, I think we’d all be naive to assume that there weren’t political influences outside of this building dictating what happens inside of this building.” Rep. John Pfeiffer (R), who voted in support of the map, said: “We do like to fight about the change and the things that have changed. But the truth be told, although our population has increased, this map hasn’t changed that much.”

During the 2010 redistricting cycle, Oklahoma approved legislative and congressional maps on May 10, 2011, and May 20, 2011, respectively.

This article was originally posted on Oklahoma enacts new congressional, legislative maps

Author: Ellen Morrissey

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