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Group Refiles Redistricting Initiative Petition Stricken by Oklahoma Supreme Court

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The group working to set up an independent redistricting commission in Oklahoma refiled their initiative petition on Thursday.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected People Not Politicians’ proposal this week, ruling its gist was not detailed enough for voters to know what they were agreeing to. People Not Politicians Executive Director Andy Moore said he’s optimistic they’ll make it through the statutory challenge period to start gathering signatures this time.

"I think we’ve addressed all of the concerns from the court and from the opponents, and we believe that the people will have a right to vote on this and decide for themselves," Moore said.

Moore said there’s a reason they didn’t dawdle in fixing the gist.

"We really want to be on the November 2020 ballot. We feel like this is really important to get passed so that we can have an independent commission ready to go and in effect for redistricting next year," Moore said.

Federal and state legislative district lines will be redrawn after the 2020 census.

The proposal still calls for a nine-member redistricting commission including equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters. Members would be chosen by a panel of retired justices designated by the chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

"We believe that an independent commission is the only way to ensure that we get fair and free redistricting done, and we know that politicians are going to do everything they can to stop that from happening," Moore said.

While the previous initiative petition was struck down, justices did not find it violated Oklahoma’s rule that legislation must deal with a single subject.

The new petition, State Question 810, will still need roughly 95,000 signatures to make the November ballot.