Friday, December 11, 2020

Legislature to hold redistricting software demo for Lawmakers and Public


House and Senate to Hold Redistricting Software Demo for Lawmakers and Public

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma Senate have planned a bipartisan, bicameral virtual demonstration of the redistricting software, Maptitude for Redistricting by Caliper, that both chambers will use to redraw new legislative and congressional district lines during the 2021 redistricting process.

As part of the Legislature’s transparency efforts surrounding redistricting, the public will be able to watch the virtual demonstration via livestream on the Oklahoma Senate website, https://oksenate.gov/live-chamber.

Tracy Horgan, the director of redistricting services for the Caliper Corporation, will provide a brief demonstration of the software capabilities for lawmakers at 9 a.m., Dec. 14, in Room 535 at the Capitol. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the demonstration will be conducted remotely and in-person attendance by lawmakers will be limited.

The demonstration will be recorded and archived so that lawmakers and the public can watch the software demonstration at a later date, if necessary. Following the demonstration, the House and Senate redistricting office staff will begin a three day virtual training course to learn and refine their skills with the software.

When the U.S. Census Bureau releases the population counts for the state, and the P.L. 94-171 data necessary for redistricting, the public will then be invited to submit complete statewide maps derived from the 2020 census data and present those maps to the committee.

The full parameters and procedures for public map submissions will be announced to the public and posted on the House and Senate website prior to the release of the P.L. 94-171 data. Pursuant to federal law, the U.S. Census Bureau is required and expected to release that data to the states no later than April 1, 2021.

Legislator statements

“The House and Senate are prioritizing transparency and public participation throughout the redistricting process by holding numerous town halls across the state to gain public input. Allowing citizen drawn plans will give the public even more hands-on input through the submission of maps they create themselves.” – Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, chair of the House Redistricting Committee

“The ability to submit public maps gives the people an opportunity to be right in the middle of the process and provide meaningful input regarding how they would like to see their districts formed. The goal of our Caucus has been and will continue to be ensuring transparency and fairness in redistricting.” – House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, co-vice chair of the House Redistricting Committee

“Citizen input is an important part of the redistricting process which is why we’re holding town hall meetings across the state and inviting the public to submit maps. Inviting the public to follow legislative training is just another example of the Senate’s commitment to an open and transparent redistricting process.” – Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting

“It is critically important for the legislative redistricting process to be fair, open, and transparent. I encourage the public to learn about the software that will be used to draw the new maps so they have the information they will need to draw and submit their own proposed maps.” – Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, co-vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting

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