Oklahoma Supreme Court Rejects Redistricting State Question

Feb 4, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A proposed state question that would change how Oklahoma’s congressional and legislative district lines are drawn was stricken from the ballot on Tuesday by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

The court determined that a shorthand explanation of the state question that appears on signature sheets, called a gist, didn’t adequately describe the proposal.

“The gist is not subject to amendment by this court, and as a result, the only remedy is to strike the petition from the ballot,” Justice Douglas Combs wrote in the majority opinion.

The group “People Not Politicians” is seeking to gather signatures to place the proposal on the ballot. They would need to gather about 178,000 signatures in 90 days to qualify. The group’s executive director, Andy Moore, said he was still reviewing the court’s decision Tuesday morning.

The plan calls for an end to partisan gerrymandering of Oklahoma’s legislative districts by creating an independent, bipartisan commission to draw district. The commission would include an equal number of Republicans, Democrats and members unaffiliated with either party, and they would be selected by a group of retired state Supreme Court and appellate judges.

The court ruled separately that the proposal is constitutional and does not violate the state’s single-subject rule.