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Oklahoma Group Drops Plan for Redistricting State Question

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group seeking to change the way Oklahoma's state and congressional districts are drawn is abandoning its plans to seek a public vote on the issue.

People Not Politicians Executive Director Andy Moore announced Tuesday the group would instead focus on making sure the redistricting process is conducted by the Legislature in a fair and open manner.

In a statement, Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat called the initative "flawed" and said he was not surprised it was withdrawn.

"Regardless of what some may say, the redistricting process in Oklahoma is not broken. Senators take our responsibility seriously to uphold the constitution. That is why we are soliciting the public’s input and taking steps in our process to ensure the public’s important role in redistricting," Treat said. "The Oklahoma Senate will represent the interests of Oklahomans and will conduct an open and transparent redistricting process."

The Oklahoma House will use a standing committee and eight regional subcommittees to gather public input and produce its redistricting plan for consideration in the 2021 legislative session. It has retained former Speaker T.W. Shannon as a public liaison for the process.

People Not Politicians initially launched an initiative petition effort in October 2019 to get the question on the ballot this year. But legal challenges and then coronavirus-related delays in signature gathering made that impossible.

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