OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – One state lawmaker is calling for the state’s redistricting process to be held by an independent commission and leave out the legislature entirely. Rep. Andy Fugate, a Democrat, says it’s an action that’s long overdue for Oklahoma and other states.
“This is the same game that has been played over 110 years,” he said. “You ask the people of Oklahoma, they would tell you they don’t think politicians should be choosing their voters. It’s the voters who choose their politicians in the United States, but we have the process backwards here in Oklahoma.”
Rep. Fugate wants to establish an independent commission that would be tasked with redrawing the new congressional and house and senate districts following the coming census in 2030. He filed the resolution on Monday.
Because it’s related to redistricting, it could theoretically be heard during special session before its end on the 26th. But it was left unheard in the house redistricting committee earlier this week , making that unlikely.
Republicans, including Rep. Justin Humphry says it’s not something he would support.
“I don’t think that it would be necessary [and] I don’t think it would be feasible,” he said. “We went around the state, we had meetings, open meetings … I think we’re doing it great.”
He says the criticism they’ve received from Democrats is just part of any political process when you have a clear majority in both legislative chambers.
“I suspect that when the Democrats had control of the house and senate, that it was done similar,” he said. “I suspect Republicans jumped up and raised Cain then and I suspect then that now that Democrats are not happy with the process.”
Rep. Fugate says he acknowledges this bill faces an incredible uphill battle to getting passed, but he hopes it sheds some light on what he says is an unfair process.