SJR 12Background and procedural information
Senate Joint Resolution 12 would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to create a five member Redistricting Commission for state legislative districts. If passed, the potential amendment would be put onto the ballot as an initiative. The bill is currently in committee.
Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
Yes. The bill requires the Redistricting Commission to divide the state into as many districts as there are legislators.
Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Maybe. The bill requires consideration of factors such as population, compactness, political units, historical precedent, economic and political interests, and contiguous territories.
Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The first four members of the Redistricting Commission are appointed, one each, by the President of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and the Minority Leader in the House. The final member is appointed by the Ethics Commission, and must be a registered Independent that has not registered as a Republican or Democrat in the past ten years.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?
Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No. There is no mechanism established by which members of the public may submit plans or give input. After the plan has been formed, the public has sixty days to challenge the plan in the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. Redistricting may only be done within six months of the decennial census report.
*Note: A proposal may be neutral on whether or not to favor competitive districts for a number of reasons, including that such a requirement may be thought to conflict with other criteria, potentially create other legal issues, or is assumed to flow from the new process itself -- or it might merely not be a priority for the legislative sponsors. FairVote believes that some form of proportional voting is needed to ensure maximum competitiveness for each seat and to ensure meaningful choices for all voters.