• Oklahoma: Conservatives in Oklahoma have filed two new lawsuits in state court in an attempt to prevent a measure that would set up a new redistricting commission from appearing on the ballot this year.
Backers of the initiative revised and resubmitted their ballot summary text following the state Supreme Court's rejection of their original summary as inaccurate last month. In this latest suit, opponents argue that the new summary is also inaccurate; that the measure violates the U.S. Constitution by counting prisoners at their last address instead of where they are incarcerated; and that it's unconstitutional because it limits who can serve on the commission.
The measure in question would create an independent commission for congressional and legislative redistricting. The state Supreme Court previously ruled that it did not violate the First Amendment or the state constitution's limitation on initiatives addressing more than one subject. The high court has a 5-4 majority appointed by Democratic governors, but that alone is no guarantee that the court will reject these latest challenges.
• Oklahoma: A committee in Oklahoma's heavily Republican state Senate has approved a bill that would require the state to fully implement online voter registration by the end of 2021. The Republican-led state government enacted online registration in 2015, but it has long been delayed and only partially implemented, leaving Oklahoma as one of just a handful of states that don't allow some form of online registration for new voters.
• Oklahoma: Oklahoma's state Supreme Court has ruled 7-2 to reject the proposed ballot summary language for an initiative that would create an independent redistricting commission. The court, which has a 5-4 majority of justices appointed by Democratic governors, ruled that the summary language did not fully explain the proposal. However, the justices held that the proposal itself was constitutional and did not violate the First Amendment or the state's prohibition on initiatives addressing more than one topic.
Supporters of the initiative have filed new summary text in order to survive judicial scrutiny, and the measure may still qualify for the November ballot. However, future legal action is likely, and proponents would still have to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot even if the new language passes legal muster.