Both chambers of the Oklahoma legislature announced their preliminary maps for redistricting, as required by constitutional law. The maps look less serpentine than the 2012 product we were subjected to. The Senate made more radical changes than the House, but for some Oklahomans the change will be drastic in both House & Senate.
We remain a legislative state with 101 House seats and 48 senate seats, but some districts completely disappear from one part of the state and pop up as new entities with very different constituencies. Some of the lawmakers who are not eligible to run for another term in 2022, will see their districts dissolve and be absorbed by abutting districts, so that their seat can be issued to a brand new district somewhere else in the state.
Generally, Oklahoma's rural areas are not populating as fast as the metro areas, so in order to assure equal representation, the borders must constitutionally be adjusted every decade when the US Census report becomes public.
In 1991, Lloyd Noble III led a first-in-the-nation initiative petition to amend the state constitution so that no legislator could run for another term beyond their 12th year of legislative office. Since then our state has extended term limits for statewide offices to just two 4-year terms.
Several incumbent lawmakers will see their own districts look much more cohesive in 2022.
Bethany & Yukon will share a new senate seat. SD 18, which used to be a Wagoner County designation, has been moved to western OKC metro.