Pro Tem: Oklahoma Legislature Will 'Absolutely' Have Special Session This Fall For Redistricting

Mar 26, 2021

State legislative districts will be redrawn during the session, but lawmakers can expect to be in special session for congressional redistricting work.

A delay in releasing 2020 Census data means Oklahoma lawmakers will split their redistricting work.

The state constitution requires state legislative districts be redrawn before adjournment of the session following a census.

"Is the completion of the U.S. census when they stop counting or when they release the data to us? To be in compliance, we feel like we need to have legislative redistricting done this session to have sine die, because the census was completed last year even though we don’t have the numbers and won’t have the numbers until sometime this fall," said Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat.

State lawmakers will use the most up-to-date U.S. Census Bureau community survey data available to go ahead with redrawing Oklahoma’s legislative districts. 

With the census data delayed, Treat said Oklahoma lawmakers can count on working at the capitol this fall.

"We will absolutely have to come into special session to do congressional redistricting because you have to have an exact number of people per district in that. And then anywhere where the variances are too big from the legislative redistricting we complete this spring, we can adjust those in that special session," Treat said.

Census data is usually due March 31, but the bureau said it needed more time with 2020 data because of delays caused by the pandemic.