Laws governing local ballot measures in Oklahoma
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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.
- In addition, there are 637 special districts and 550 independent school districts.
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
- 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.
| Ballot Law Portal|
|Laws Governing Ballot Measures|
Section XVIII-4 of the Oklahoma Constitution mandates the powers of initiative and referendum to the people of the state.
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|
The initiative process for general law municipalities is detailed in Oklahoma Statutes 11-15-101 through 11-15-110.
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||Population||City Type||Next election|
|Broken Arrow||100,073||General law||4/2/2013|
|Local I&R Laws in the 50 States|
|Source:Local Ballot Initiatives: How citizens change laws with |
clipboards, conversations, and campaigns
- Ballotpedia Research Document, Local Initiative in Oklahoma
- Oklahoma Municipal League
- Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma Almanac, "Oklahoma Municipal Government," 2005
- ↑ U.S. Census Bureau, "Governments--Individual State Descriptions, Pg. 323
- ↑ Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma Almanac, "Oklahoma Municipal Government," 2005
- ↑ The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 study of local governments
- ↑ KTUL, "Stillwater Mayor Avoids Recall In Close Vote", May 12, 2010
- ↑ Ballotpedia: Types and #'s of local government by state
- ↑ Oklahoma Statutes
- ↑ Oklahoma Statutes
- ↑ US Census Bureau "City and Town Totals: Vintage 2011 (Population figures as of 2011 Census estimates)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 US Census, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Oklahoma: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011