OKLAHOMA CITY — People Not Politicians, a coalition of concerned Oklahomans, filed an updated initiative petition today as the next step in the process of ending gerrymandering in Oklahoma. Although a policy to create an independent redistricting process for Oklahoma was originally filed in October 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in lack of time to secure the signatures needed to qualify for a 2020 ballot. People Not Politicians will now begin the initiative petition process again, with aspirations to make it on a 2022 ballot.
“Our goal is to put this measure to a vote of the people as quickly as we can so that we can end partisan gerrymandering once and for all. Oklahomans have had to suffer with gerrymandered maps drawn by politicians for long enough; voters deserve to have fair maps drawn by an independent commission of Oklahoma citizens who don’t have a conflict of interest with the outcome,” said Andy Moore, executive director of People Not Politicians. “With an independent redistricting commission, politicians will be held accountable to their constituents — the everyday businessmen, teachers, pastors and veterans that live in our communities and aren’t running for re-election.”
Originally filed in October 2019, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma has twice upheld the constitutionality of petition, most recently in May 2020. People Not Politicians has updated the original policy to include language to allow the commission to conduct a redistricting as soon as voters approve the measure. This will ensure Oklahomans do not have to wait 10 more years to be appropriately represented.
“We believe swift action is needed for the redistricting committee to make real and meaningful contributions to Oklahoma’s democracy. We cannot endure 10 more years of unfair maps,” said Jan Largent, president of League of Women Voters of Oklahoma. “An independent redistricting commission will ensure all communities are represented fairly and all votes are treated equally. Politicians will be held accountable to engage with their constituents, fix problems facing our communities and stop being beholden to only the most powerful and rich.”
If passed by Oklahoma voters, the ballot measure would create an independent, citizen-led redistricting commision to ensure district lines are drawn in the best interest of the people, not politicians. All work by the commission would be conducted in the open, in full view of the public.
The next step for People Not Politicians is to gather 177,958 voter signatures to qualify for a 2022 ballot.