EDUCATION

“Citizen-led Initiative to End Gerrymandering in Oklahoma”

                                                

        The League of Women Voters of Bartlesville is partnering

with People Not Politicians, a coalition of concerned citizens in

Oklahoma working to end gerrymandering in our state.   

Gerrymandering is the practice employed by a party

in political power to re-draw voting districts to improve the

chances that their candidates will be re-elected.

 

         Current Oklahoma law allows members of our state

Legislature to redraw their own districts behind closed doors,

without any oversight or input from the public, letting

politicians hand-pick their voters.

 

         On October 28th ballot initiative for State Question 804 -

was filed as the first step to putting a stop to gerrymandering

by giving citizens the chance to vote to say how they want

decisions made establishing voting districts.

 

         If passed by Oklahoma voters, State Question 804 would

create an independent citizen-led redistricting commission to

ensure district lines are drawn in a fair way, taking power away

from politicians and giving it to the citizens where it belongs.

 

         Members of the commission would consist of nine

citizens, and any Oklahoma voter could apply.  Applications

would then be vetted by three retired Oklahoma justices down

to sixty candidates – 20 Republicans, 20 Democrats and

20 voters of other political affiliation.


         To be considered, applicants must be registered to vote,

have continuously lived in Oklahoma for the past five years,

and have been registered with the same party for  

four years.  They cannot be or have been a candidate for

a partisan elected office, a registered lobbyist, employed by the

state legislature or any political party, or an immediate family

of someone in those categories in the past five years.

 

         State Question 804 would create more competitive

elections, making politicians more responsive to the needs of

average citizens by allowing fair representation.

 

         This initiative is in keeping with the mission of the League

of Women Voters - “Empowering Voters  - Defending

Democracy.” We are non-partisan and non-profit, and never

support a political candidate or party. 

 

         This is a non-partisan issue.   Gerrymandering has

been practiced by parties in power, regardless of

political affiliation. 

 

To learn more about The League of Women Voters and this

initiative, visit our website:   lwvbartlesville.org

 

                                           Connie Lavoie, President

                                  League of Women Voters of Bartlesville

 

League of Women Voters of Bartlesville

info@LWVBartlesville.org