Oklahoma Wine Purchase Amendment (2012)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
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.
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.
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."
Path to the 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.
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.
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.
- The Oklahoman, "Oklahoma group puts finishing touches on liquor ballot language," December 17, 2011
- Oklahoma Legislature, "Text of Measures," accessed January 27, 2011(Scroll to SJR 35)
- Tulsa World, "Wine petition likely to miss November ballot because of legal battle," June 12, 2012 (dead link)
- The Oklahoman, "Wine-in-grocery-store ballot language approved by Oklahoma Attorney General's office," April 13, 2012
- The Oklahoman, "Protests filed against wine-in-grocery-stores ballot language," May 11, 2012