“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
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