Canadian County redistricting on horizon

Commissioners will redraw maps for three districts based on 33.6% population growth

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Left: Canadian County Commission Chairman Jack Stewart; Right: District 1 Canadian County Commissioner Marc Hader

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

With official 2020 Census data showing Canadian County grew by 33.6% in 10 years, county leaders are calling on state lawmakers to convene a special session to approve updated Oklahoma House and Senate maps.

The Oklahoma Legislature is tasked with redrawing state legislative and congressional district lines every 10 years, following the federal decennial census.

Oklahoma has 101 House districts, 48 Senate districts and was assigned five congressional seats following federal reapportionment.

State legislators must formally establish new Senate and House districts as part of a redistricting process that occurs every 10 years.

After revised state Legislature seat boundaries are approved, Canadian County Commissioners will officially redraw the county’s district maps.

All 77 counties in Oklahoma are divided into three districts proportioned as closely as possible by population.

“Ten years ago, when we divided Canadian County by three, we were at 38,500 apiece,” District 3 Commissioner Jack Stewart said. “This year, we’re going from 38,500 to 51,000 each.”

District 2 Canadian County Commissioner Dave Anderson

Stewart, along with District 1 Commissioner Marc Hader and District 2 Commissioner Dave Anderson, will meet “as early as possible” this fall to determine new district boundaries that will remain in effect through 2030.

Canadian County is Oklahoma’s fastest-growing large county, with the population increasing from 115,541 to 154,405 since the 2010 Census.

Due to population shifts in Canadian County and across Oklahoma, the task of redistricting is necessary every 10 years to ensure equal representation will exist for equal numbers of people.

The new district boundaries will be used to conduct county, state congressional and legislative elections from 2022-30.

LARGEST CANADIAN COUNTY MUNICIPALITY?

When many people think of the largest municipality in Canadian County, they assume it’s the City of Yukon.

But that’s not true, according to total resident population.

A significant part of Canadian County’s 33.6% growth over the past decade has been inside its largest municipality – Oklahoma City.

County officials believe Oklahoma City now comprises about one-third of the county’s overall population.

Much of the population spike is in the eastern Canadian County “no man’s land”, Commissioner Hader said during the Aug. 23rd Canadian County Commissioners’ meeting.

This growth has been evidenced by all the new rooftops near Yukon, Mustang and Piedmont – but inside Oklahoma City limits.

Canadian County’s District 1 commissioner is married to Denise Crosswhite Hader (R-Piedmont), who represents Oklahoma House District 41.

House District 41 is among state legislative offices in Canadian County that will be greatly impacted during the redistricting process due to the area’s large population hike.

Rep. Hader’s district includes Piedmont and Surrey Hills, two of the fastest-growing areas in this part of the state.

Other state legislative seats representing the 73099 zip code are:

House District 43 (Jay Steagall, R-Yukon), House District 47 (Brian Hill, R-Mustang), House District 60 (Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon), Senate District 22 (Jake Merrick, R-Yukon), Senate District 23 (Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle), Senate District 44 (Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City), and Senate District 45 (Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City).

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CITY NUMBERS ‘WAY OFF’?

Official 2020 Census population numbers for the cities and towns in Canadian County are still pending.

Commissioner Hader said some of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 population estimates will prove to be “way off” from actual 2020 Census figures.

Hader believes the 2020 Census populations of Yukon, Mustang and El Reno will each be thousands below the 2019 estimates.

The most recent Census Bureau data shows estimated 2019 populations and actual population counts from the last official U.S. Census in 2010:

  • Yukon – 28,084 estimated population in 2019; 22,709 actual population in 2010.
  • Mustang – 22,959 estimated population in 2019; 17,395 actual population in 2010.
  • El Reno – 19,965 estimated population in 2019; 16,749 actual population in 2010.
  • Piedmont – 8,551 estimated population in 2019; 5,720 actual population in 2010.

Meanwhile, Canadian County had the highest self-response rate among all 77 Oklahoma counties on the 2020 U.S. Census.

“We had bigger numbers and they were better accounted for,” Commissioner Hader noted.

U.S. Census Bureau data shows Canadian County’s response rate was 72.6%. That was 2.4% higher than Cleveland County in second place.

In fact, Canadian County has three of Oklahoma’s top 10 municipalities by self-response rate: Piedmont was third at 81.4%, Mustang was sixth at 78.9% and Yukon was ninth at 78.3%.

The 2020 U.S. Census shows Oklahoma with a resident population of 3,959,353, a 5.5% increase from 2010.