Oklahoma Wine Purchase Amendment (2012)

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The Oklahoma Alcohol Purchase and Definition Question did not make the November 2012 statewide ballot in the state of Oklahoma as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure would allow for the sale and purchase of wine in grocery stores across the state. The measure was filed by Oklahomans for Modern Laws on April 3, 2012. If enacted, the proposal would allow counties with a population of 50,000 or more to vote on whether to approve wine sales in retail outlets of at least 25,000 square feet.[1]

A similar 2012 measure, a legislative referral was introduced and filed by State Senator Clark Jolley in the Oklahoma Legislature during 2011 state legislative session, but it never came to fruition.[2]

Because of legal protests by opponents of the initiative, supporters have stated that it may be too late to begin collecting signatures for the 2012 ballot. Instead, supporters have hinted that they may turn their efforts to the 2014 ballot. According to Brian Howe, spokesman for the group sponsoring the initiative, when speaking about the legal protests, "This makes it really, really difficult to get it on the 2012 ballot, so we’re already probably looking at the 2014 ballot."[3]

Path to the ballot

Supporters must gather and submit at least 155,215 to the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office in order to qualify for the November 6, 2012 general election ballot.

During the week of April 13, 2012, the Oklahoma Attorney General approved ballot language of the measure. According to reports, once the language is published by three newspapers in the state, ten days must pass for potential protests to be filed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. If not, the measure can have then proceeded to collect signatures.[4]


Two protests were filed during the week of April 26, 2012 against the wording of the ballot measure, specifically challenging that it violates the state's single-subject rule. According to reports, the protests also stated that the ballot language violates the equal protection clause of the Oklahoma Constitution because the initiative allows only a select number of stores to sell wine.[5]

One protest was filed by Yousef Javadzadeh, an owner of multiple convenience stores. His protest was filed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

The other protest was filed by two groups, the Oklahoma Prevention Policy Alliance and Fighting Addiction Through Education. That protest was only filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

See also