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Laws governing local ballot measures in Oklahoma

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Laws Governing Local Ballot Measures

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All Oklahoma municipalities have a mandated initiative and referendum process for local ballot measures.

This article sets out the laws governing local ballot measures in Oklahoma. It explains:

  • Which local units of government make the initiative process available to residents.
  • How and whether local units of government, including school districts, can refer local ballot measures (such as school bond propositions) to the ballot.
  • An overview of laws governing local recall elections.

Types of local government

Local government in Oklahoma consists of:

  • Counties: There are 77 counties in Oklahoma. No county operates under a charter.
  • Municipalities: There are 594 municipalities in Oklahoma. Municipalities with fewer than 1,000 residents are considered towns. Those with more than 1,000 residents may become a city by local referendum vote. There are 163 cities and 431 towns. Municipalities with a population over 2,000 may adopt a charter--86 have done so.[1][2]
  • In addition, there are 637 special districts and 550 independent school districts.[3]

School districts

See also: School bond and tax elections in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is one of a handful of states that expresses its property tax cap limit using the mill rate formula over an mathematical formula. Oklahoma has a five mill limit that is protected by the Oklahoma Constitution. Oklahoma is different from other states as they use the five mill limit for issuing bonds, bond taxes, and exceeding the levy limit. Oklahoma requires a three-fifths (60%) super-majority vote to approve bond referendums while referendums involving the five mill limit only require a simple majority vote.

Local recall rules

Recall of local elected officials in Oklahoma is available in some jurisdictions.[4]

For additional detail, see: Laws governing recall in Oklahoma

Initiative process availability

All 86 charter municipalities have mandated charter amendment through initiative and referendum.

All 508 general law municipalities have mandated initiative and referendum for ordinances.

No counties in Oklahoma have the powers of initiative and referendum.[5]

Authority

Ballot Law Portal
Laws Governing Ballot Measures

Constitution

Section XVIII-4 of the Oklahoma Constitution mandates the powers of initiative and referendum to the people of the state.

Statutes

Oklahoma Statutes §11‑15‑101 mandates the powers of initiative and referendum to all cities, whether it be for charter amendment or the enacting of ordinances.

Initiative process features

A guide to local ballot initiatives
Local Ballot Initiatives cover.jpg

The initiative process for general law municipalities is detailed in Oklahoma Statutes 11-15-101 through 11-15-110.[6]

The same process is the default for charter amendment, but charter cities have the authority to change the process to fit their city's individual situation.


Initiative process in the top 10 most populated cities

List of Most Populated Cities in Oklahoma
City[8] Population City Type Next election
Oklahoma City 591,967 Charter N/A
Tulsa 396,466 Charter N/A
Norman 113,273 Charter N/A
Broken Arrow 100,073 General law N/A
Lawton 98,177 Charter N/A
Edmond 82,963 Charter N/A
Moore 56,315 Charter N/A
Midwest City 55,427 Charter N/A
Enid 49,451 Charter N/A
Stillwater 46,048 Charter N/A
Local I&R Laws in the 50 States
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Source:Local Ballot Initiatives: How citizens change laws with
clipboards, conversations, and campaigns


See also

External links

References