House Holds Do-Over Vote On Critical Race Theory Ban Over 'Voting Anomaly'

May 3, 2021

The Oklahoma House had to redo its vote on a bill Republicans say is to ban the teaching of critical race theory.

The theory asks students to consider how racism permeates society, but House Bill 1775 bans teaching concepts like students should feel guilt on account of their race or sex, or that certain races are inherently racist. Supporters claim that's a common problem in Oklahoma. So far, they have not offered proof.

HB1775 was brought back to the floor Monday afternoon because of what Republican leaders described as a "voting anomaly." Some Democratic lawmakers said a House Republican not present for Thursday's vote on the bill was marked down as voting in favor of it.

The bill passed 77–18 on the revote, with all House Democrats opposed.

Last week, Republican lawmakers suspended House rules to vote on the bill after it was determined Senate amendments that completely changed the bill from its original subject broke the rules.

HB1775 also bans mandatory diversity training at state colleges and universities. Its language comes from an executive order then-President Donald Trump issued in 2020 to ban diversity training in federal agencies and by entities receiving federal funding. Civil rights groups sued the Trump administration, and a judge blocked the order.

President Joe Biden rescinded the order after taking office.