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Local & Regional

Stitt signs legislation setting new state legislative and congressional district boundaries

Gov. Kevin Stitt holds up a copy of Senate Bill 2X at a Monday bill signing for redistricting legislation. SB2X adjusts residency requirement deadlines for county commissioners.
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Gov. Kevin Stitt holds up a copy of Senate Bill 2X at a Monday bill signing for redistricting legislation. SB2X adjusts residency requirement deadlines for county commissioners.

Gov. Kevin Stitt's office announced late Monday he had signed into law bills establishing Oklahoma’s new state legislative and congressional districts.

They will be in effect for the next decade.

"Following an open and transparent process that included public input, these maps were passed with majority support in both the House and the Senate and I am pleased to execute the will of Oklahomans by signing these new maps into law," Stitt said in a statement.

Additional public input was not offered after Republican redistricting leaders unveiled the plan passed last week during special session.

Andy Moore with People Not Politicians, a group that advocates for independent redistricting, pointed out when the plan was unveiled earlier this month that it carved up Oklahoma City while also making the First District more compact around the Tulsa metro.

"I think that says a lot about how our current congressional delegation views — and our state legislative delegation views — Tulsa versus Oklahoma city, where they prefer to keep Tulsa unified but they are eager to split Oklahoma City three ways," Moore said.

Oklahoma City has three U.S. representatives under the current congressional districts map, but those boundaries don't extend the Third District into Oklahoma County. Areas of Oklahoma City in Canadian County are in the Third District, while parts in Cleveland County are in the Fourth District.

Not one Democratic state lawmaker voted for the new congressional districts map.

Democratic portions of Oklahoma City’s core and south side will be in the rural and heavily Republican Third District. They’re being replaced in the mostly urban Fifth District by Lincoln County and portions of Logan and Canadian counties, all places that went overwhelmingly for former President Trump in the 2020 election.

The changes will give Republican candidates an advantage in the Fifth District, which Democrat Kendra Horn won in 2018. Former state senator and current U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice reclaimed the seat for Republicans in 2020.

Oklahoma House Redistricting Chair Ryan Martinez said earlier this month the new map meets all legal requirements while moving as few Oklahomans to new districts as possible.

"So, holistically, like I said, it's really not any big changes. 87% of Oklahomans will continue to live in the same congressional district that they currently live in," Martinez said.

Democrats in the state legislature proposed a map submitted by People Not Politicians that kept more than 90% of Oklahomans in the same district. Their proposal failed in committee on the second day of special session.

Stitt also signed on Monday legislation passed during special session that adjusts residency requirement deadlines and directs county election boards on when to hold elections after redistricting.