Oklahoma bill would change signature requirements for ballot initiatives
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma: Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a bill that would change petition circulation procedures for proposed ballot initiatives, a bill that recently cleared the House Rules Committee on April 6, 2011. The committee voted 7-6 to send the measure to the full chamber for consideration. If enacted by the state legislature, the signatures required to place an initiated constitutional amendment or an initiated state statute would have to come from each of the state's five congressional districts.
State Representative Leslie Osborn stated that the measure is a way to give rural voters a say when petitions for a certain measure are circulating. According to reports, however, opponents of the bill say it would make the initiative process more difficult given the small populations in rural areas in the state.
The proposal is another current example of state lawmakers considering changes to the ballot initiative process, with Massachusetts lawmakers considering a bill that would more than double initiative signature requirements for proposed ballot initiatives. Another proposal being considered in another state is a bill that would require more than a simple majority of voters to approve any future citizen-initiated amendments to the Colorado constitution.