The full Senate has approved two redistricting measures. House Bill 2145 will provide for new district lines for the State House of Representatives. That measure now returns to the House for further consideration. The Senate also voted on Tuesday in favor of House Bill 1527, redrawing the boundaries for Oklahoma’s five congressional districts. That measure is now headed to Gov. Mary Fallin for her approval.
Oklahoma is required to redraw legislative and congressional district lines every ten years to reflect population changes determined by the U.S. Census Bureau. In the last ten years, the state’s population increased by 8.71 percent. The 2000 Census recorded Oklahoma’s population at 3,450,654. In 2010, it was 3,751,351.
Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, and Sen. Kim David, R-Wagoner, serve as the Congressional Redistricting Chair and Vice-Chair.
“The goal is to ensure equal representation for all citizens in every part of the state, which means dividing the population equally among the districts,” Fields said. “We were able to give Districts 1 through 4 the exact same number of citizens, with just one additional person for District 5.
Under HB 1527, Oklahoma Congressional Districts 1 through 4 will each have 750,250. District 5 will have 750,251.
“That’s remarkably close to an exact division of population, and all of Oklahoma’s congressional members support the final maps,” David said.
Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, and Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward, are Co-Chairs of the Senate Committee on Redistricting. Jolley said while there is additional work to be done by the House and Senate on their redistricting, he’s very pleased with how the congressional redistricting process has gone.
“I attribute that to our Senate staff. Their experience and knowledge is second to none, and they’ve simply done an excellent job,” Jolley said. “I also want to thank Senator Fields and Senator David for their hard work as well as Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman for his outstanding leadership.”
“Oklahoma’s population has grown by just over 300,000 people, an increase of 8.71 percent over ten years,” Marlatt said. “Our members, staff and leadership have done an excellent job with the 2011 redistricting, and I’m very gratified the congressional redistricting bill is headed to the governor.”
Members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation were also pleased with the redistricting process.
“The Oklahoma Senate Redistricting Committee has done painstaking work in drawing out the most fair, logical and current boundaries,” said Congressman John Sullivan, OK-1. “They should be commended for their work. These lines meet the population requirements down to the household, and I believe everyone is pleased with the outcome of this lengthy process.”
Congressman Dan Boren, OK-2, said the redistricting process had been fair and without controversy.
“The state's Congressional delegation lead by Congressman Frank Lucas and the leadership of the State Legislature have worked together throughout the entire process in a bipartisan way. I am extremely excited about the possibility of representing Marshall County in Congress. I spent quite a bit of my early childhood on Lake Texoma, my grandmother Oteka was born in Lebanon, and my late mother Janna grew up in Madill. I would also like to welcome the constituents in the western part of Rogers County to the district. It has been a very rewarding experience representing portions of Rogers County since I was elected in 2004, and I fought hard throughout the redistricting process to make sure it remained a part of the district. I look forward to representing the views and wishes of the voters in both these areas as fervently as I do all of my constituents in eastern Oklahoma. I encourage the people living in Murray County and western Rogers County to contact my office should they need assistance with a federal agency, or if they have a question about legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives.”
“I congratulate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and members of the State Senate today on passing congressional redistricting legislation,” said Congressman Frank Lucas, OK-3. “The distinguished efforts of Redistricting Co-Chairs Senators Clark Jolley and Bryce Marlatt have produced a map that ensures that the common interests of our communities will continue to be well represented. I would also like to commend Senator Eddie Fields and Senator Kim David for their work on the congressional redistricting. The committee's ability to redraw lines that assembled broad support is a testament to their professionalism.”
Congressman Tom Cole, OK-4, also praised how well the 2011 redistricting work had gone.
"This has been one of the smoothest redistricting processes in recent memory. House and Senate leaders have demonstrated great leadership and cooperation in ensuring a bipartisan, transparent and fair process,” Cole said. “Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, and Senators Clark Jolley and Bryce Marlatt should be commended for their hard work in guiding the plan through the Senate."
“While the redistricting process is often an acrimonious process, and has been in many other states this year, the process of drawing Congressional districts in Oklahoma was very smooth and equitable. Oklahoma redistricting resulted in fair districts which will serve the citizens of our state well for the next ten years,” said Congressman James Lankford, OK-5. “I commend Redistricting Co-Chairs, Senators Clark Jolley and Bryce Marlatt, Senators Kim David and Eddie Fields, as well as Senate staff for their good work and open communications during this process. I look forward to serving the wonderful people of Pottawatomie County, Seminole County, and most of Oklahoma County.”