'Politically Balanced' Redistricting Proposed

Friday, March 2nd 2007, 6:23 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A state lawmaker calls for an independent commission to redraw election districts every ten years.

Burns Flat state Representative Ryan McMullen says taking the redistricting process out of the hands of politicians will make election districts more competitive and allow Oklahomans to elect lawmakers that are more representative of voters' views.

Legislation McMullen filed to schedule a statewide referendum on the idea was not heard in the House Elections and Redistricting Subcommittee by a legislative deadline.

Subcommittee chairman Trebor Worthen says McMullen's proposal is a solution in search of a problem. Worthen says no effort was made to create an independent commission for redistricting when Democrats were in control.

McMullen's bill would schedule a vote of the people to amend the Oklahoma Constitution and establish a seven-member Independent Redistricting Commission.

The commission of retired judges and chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties would draw legislative and congressional districts without any involvement from state lawmakers.