Emory Bryan, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma – A Tulsa judge ruled Wednesday the next city council elections would use new maps based on the latest census, instead of maps drawn up 10 years ago.
The court's decision is significant for voters because the new maps reflect more equal representation.
The old districts, because of population changes, had gotten out of balance by as much as 20 percent.
The challenge to the new map came from the councilors, all of whom are up for election, and some of whom did not like the way their district is changing, but who argued the new map wasn't really final.
The biggest change to the map was in District 1, the seat held by Jack Henderson. It's growing larger to reflect a drop in population in north Tulsa.
The dispute once again divided city hall against itself - with the council pushing the old map - and the mayor and city attorney arguing for the new one.
"It's very, very that this important this be handled in a timely fashion which the judge has now allowed to happen," Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett said.
"I will vote to abide by the judge's ruling and I will advice my friends on the council to do the same thing," Councilor Rick Westcott said.The council still has to take official action to use the new map. That vote is Thursday.
Meanwhile, there is a challenge planned on the makeup of the districts.
The judge made it clear election plans will go forward based on the new map, even if it's changed because of the challenge in the meantime.