Tulsa City Election District Commission Approves Six Maps For Public Review
Tulsans will have the chance to weigh in on six city council redistricting proposals.
The city election district commission looked at five maps Friday, which reassigned between 12 and 30 voting precincts to new council districts, moving from as little as 6% of the city’s population, or 25,693 people, to as much as 15%, or 61,483 people.
Commission member John Eagleton pushed for a sixth option not initially presented at a Friday meeting to go to the public as well. It reassigns 11 precincts and less than 6% of residents.
"The primary advantage is it reduces the number of precincts that are moved, and it reduces the number of people that are moved. You have fewer movements and a lawful result," Eagleton said.
For comparison, one redistricting proposal after the 2010 census moved around 110,000 Tulsans to new council districts.
With 2020 census data in hand, the commission is aiming for council districts of just under 46,000 people, though up to 5% more or less is considered allowable.
Some proposals include bigger changes in district boundaries than others, like three maps that would move Mohawk Park from District 1 to District 3.
While public meetings are scheduled to start next month and the city redistricting process must be complete by the end of the year, additional changes are possible in 2022. State lawmakers will meet in a special session to redraw legislative and congressional district boundaries, which will require the Tulsa County Election Board to redraw voter precincts. City council districts cannot separate those precincts.
INCOG Executive Director Rich Brierre, who’s helping the city commission with its redistricting work, said the county’s work must be done by mid-December.
"And those new precincts wouldn't become effective until the spring of next year. So, the charter does provide opportunity for the council to make minor adjustments to conform with precinct boundaries, and we expect that will happen," Brierre said.
INCOG will help councilors identify changes that need to be made after precincts are redrawn.
The four public meetings approved by the commission are Oct. 12 at Martin Regional Library, 2601 S Garnett Road; Oct. 13 at Hardesty Regional Library, 5131 E 91st St.; Oct. 14 at Zarrow Regional Library, 2224 W 51st St.; and Oct. 18 at Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N Hartford Ave. All are supposed to start at 7 p.m.