County commissioners welcome redistribution contribution | New

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Residents who wish to get a glimpse of how the redistribution lines will affect County Commissioners Districts can submit their own suggestions ahead of the new draw.

Residents can view the district map and draw lines to see the results appear on the county website. They can also submit changes to the software that will analyze it.

Once completed within the guidelines, the user can submit the map to Cleveland County Commissioners, Darry Stacy, Harold Haralson and Rod Cleveland for review.

Laura Smith, the county’s geographic information systems analyst, said the process helps the user understand where borders can and cannot go.

“Redistribution can be a complex process, and many people are unaware of the legal constraints that counties face when considering redrawing district boundaries based on the most recent census,” Haralson said in a statement. prepare. “By allowing the public to make a map and submit it as a suggestion, we let them go through the process and see what is involved while still allowing the public to participate in the process.”

The county received US census data in late August, Smith recalled, but it took a few weeks for the software to be updated for public use. Residents will have access to the software until Oct. 29, Haralson Deputy Commissioner John Roberts said.

“Once all these cards have been submitted, Laura will validate all those via the [geographic information system] and present them at a public meeting to the commissioners, ”said Roberts. “At that time, maps will be made available to the public. I would expect that after that, obviously, the commissioners would need some time to consider this. There will be several meetings for people to provide public comment. “

Each district should also be populated by 98,509.3 inhabitants. The software relies on census data as a guide to redraw the boundaries to contain an equal population with as little change as possible or with a 10% deviation, Smith said.

While the equalization of districts based on census data will determine new dividing lines, commissioners will also avoid confusing residents. Straight lines along common and contiguous borders prevent confusion, Smith said.

“We don’t want to cut through neighborhoods, and we don’t want to create lines that really don’t make sense to people,” Smith said.

Roberts said the commission was working with a legislative redistribution team and the county electoral board. The legislative team made best practice presentations for commissioners at meetings of the Oklahoma County Commissioners Association, Roberts said.

“We make sure our i’s are pointed and t’s crossed out to make sure we’re following all laws,” Roberts said.

Cleveland County Electoral Council secretary Bryant Rains said his office was tasked with redesigning electoral districts, but his team couldn’t get started until state, congressional and commission districts had not been fired.

Governor Kevin Stitt called a special session of the legislature on November 15 to redraw the borders. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma State Election Commission canceled the December, January and March elections.

“This will give us time to work on the redistribution,” Rains said.

County residents can register online at clevelandcountyok.com using the search function for the District Census Update or make an appointment to use the software at the Cleveland County Courthouse.

Mindy Wood covers Town Hall news and notable court cases for The Transcript. Contact her at [email protected] or 405-416-4420.


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