Difference between revisions of "Oklahoma"

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---------The Oklahoma portal on Ballotpedia---------->
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<div style="font-size:200%; margin:0; padding:0em 0em 0em 3em; color:#000080;">'''The Oklahoma Hub<br><br>on Ballotpedia'''</div>
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<div style="font-size:300%; margin:0; padding:0em 0em 0em 0em; color:#292421;">Oklahoma on Ballotpedia</div><br>
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*[[List of Oklahoma ballot measures|Oklahoma ballot measures (all)]]
 
*[[Oklahoma 2008 ballot measures|Statewide ballot measures (2008)]]
 
*[[Getting Started on Ballotpedia|Start contributing]]
 
*[[Ballotpedia:Oklahoma|Join the Oklahoma project]]
 
 
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[[Image:Red-checkmarksmall.jpg]] <big>'''Oklahoma on Ballotpedia'''</big><br>
 
 
This page is a [[Ballotpedia:Portals|hub]] to connect you to everything on [[Ballotpedia:About|Ballotpedia]] about '''[[Oklahoma]]''' and its [[ballot]]&#8212;[[laws governing the initiative process in Oklahoma|laws]], [[History of Initiative & Referendum in Oklahoma|history]], [[List of Oklahoma ballot measures|statewide ballot measures]], [[Oklahoma signature requirements|ballot access]], and more.
 
 
* If you'd like to work on building this part of Ballotpedia, [[Ballotpedia:Oklahoma|take a look here]] or [[Ballotpedia:Community|join the community]] or just [[Getting Started on Ballotpedia|register and dive in]].
 
 
* If you want to read about everything to do with ballots and ballot propositions in Oklahoma, you've come to the right place.  Use this page as a hub to find what you seek.
 
 
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<h2 style="margin:0; background:#00008B; font-size:120%; font-weight:bold; border:1px solid #a3b0bf; text-align:left; color:#faf5ff; padding:0.2em 0.4em;">Oklahoma ballot initiative news</h2>
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<h2 style="margin:0; background:#00008B; font-size:120%; font-weight:bold; border:1px solid #a3b0bf; text-align:left; color: white; padding:0.2em 0.4em;">Oklahoma ballot news</h2>
 
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|style="color:#000;"| '''UPDATE: School funding petition drive kicks off'''
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|{{State hub news DPL|State=Oklahoma}}
A petition drive to boost Oklahoma spending on public education began Thursday and immediately drew criticism from Republican lawmakers. The HOPE, or [[Oklahoma HOPE Ballot Initiative (2008)|Helping Oklahoma Public Education]], campaign aims to amend the state constitution and require the Legislature to fund public education to at least the per-pupil average of neighboring states. ([[Oklahoma ballot initiative news|Read the full story.]])
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|style="color:#000;"| '''It's toast: State ballot blander than in past'''
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|style="color:#000;" align="right"| [[Oklahoma political news|...more Oklahoma political news]]
Oklahoma has had its share of "sexy” ballot initiatives this decade, but 2008 will be an exception, says a journalist from the '''Oklahoman Editorial'''. While voters elsewhere are weighing in on gay marriage, abortion restrictions, English-only measures and legalizing assisted suicide, the November Oklahoma ballot will be blander than dry toast.
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Since 2000, voters have [[Oklahoma State Question 687 (2002)|banned cockfighting]], [[Oklahoma State Question 711 (2004)|outlawed gay marriage]], [[Oklahoma State Question No. 713 (2004)|raised the tobacco tax]], [[Oklahoma State Question No. 705 (2004)|created a state lottery]], [[Oklahoma State Question No. 712 (2004)|extended casino gaming options]] and allowed the [[Oklahoma State Question No. 733 (2006)|sale of liquor on Election Day]]. <ref name="newsok">NewsOK.com, [http://newsok.com/its-toast-state-ballot-blander-than-in-past/article/3275617 It's toast: State ballot blander than in past], Jul 28, 2008 </ref>
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|style="color:#000;"| '''Governor puts state questions on ballot'''
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OKLAHOMA CITY - [[Brad_Henry|Governor Brad Henry]] has signed the authorization to place four proposed state questions on the November 4, 2008 General Election ballot. State questions [[Oklahoma State Question No. 735 (2008)|735]], [[Oklahoma State Question No. 741 (2008)|741]], [[Oklahoma State Question No. 742 (2008)|742]] and [[Oklahoma State Question No. 743 (2008)|743]]. The first two initiatives are for property tax exemptions, and the others deal with game & fish regulations, and winemakers being able to deal directly with restaurants, cutting out the wholesaler.<ref>[http://www.oeta.onenet.net/news/ OETA - The Oklahoma Network], July 24, 2008</ref>
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|style="color:#000;"| '''Education petition seeks more state funding'''
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The Oklahoma Education Association is planning a petition drive designed to raise $850 million initially for schools by requiring the state to fund schools at the regional average. Called the HOPE ballot initiative — Helping Oklahoma Public Education — the initiative petition proposes amending the Oklahoma Constitution to require the regional average in per-pupil funding for schools.<ref name="oknews">[http://newsok.com/education-petition-seeks-more-state-funding/article/3271182/?tm=1216270485 ''OK News'': "Education petition seeks more state funding," July 17, 2008]</ref>
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<br>
|style="color:#000;"| '''Civil Rights Initiative sponsors move to withdraw due to insufficient signatures'''
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<h2 style="margin:0; background:#00008B; font-size:120%; font-weight:bold; border:1px solid #a3b0bf; text-align:left; color: white; padding:0.2em 0.4em;">Oklahoma Government</h2>
Lawyers for Oklahoma City attorney W. Devin Resides, sponsor of the Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative&#8212;which would have ended race and gender preferences in public employment, public education, and public contracting&#8212;filed a motion with the Oklahoma Supreme Court April 4, 2008, to withdraw the proposed ballot measure, State Question 737, from consideration.<ref name="tulsaworld">[http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080405_1_A13_hBack65184 ''Tulsa World'': "Backers say they don't have enough valid signatures to get the proposal on a ballot," April 5, 2008]</ref>
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'''State executives'''<br>
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[[Governor of Oklahoma|Governor]] •
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[[Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma|Lieutenant Governor]] •
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[[Oklahoma Attorney General|Attorney General]] •
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[[Oklahoma Secretary of State|Secretary of State]] •
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[[Oklahoma Treasurer|Treasurer]] •
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[[Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector|State Auditor and Inspector]] •
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[[Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction|Superintendent of Public Instruction]] •
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[[Oklahoma Commissioner of Insurance|Commissioner of Insurance]] •
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[[Oklahoma Commissioner of Agriculture|Commissioner of Agriculture]] •
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[[Oklahoma Director of Wildlife Conservation|Director of Wildlife Conservation]] •
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[[Oklahoma Commissioner of Labor|Commissioner of Labor]] •
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[[Oklahoma Corporation Commission|Commissioner of Corporations]]  
  
The initiative was being challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union. Chuck Norton, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Oklahoma, charged that the signature-gathering process was riddled with errors.<ref>[http://www.kten.com/Global/story.asp?S=7983346 KTEN-TV: "Supreme Court suit hits petition," March 7, 2008]</ref> [[Oklahoma ballot initiative news#Civil_Rights_Initiative_sponsors_move_to_withdraw_due_to_insufficient_signatures|Read full item here]]
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'''State legislature'''<br>
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[[Oklahoma State Legislature|State Legislature]] •
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[[Oklahoma House of Representatives|House of Representatives]] •
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[[Oklahoma Senate|Senate]]
  
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'''Other'''<br>
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[[Oklahoma Constitution|Constitution]] •
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[[Oklahoma Supreme Court|Supreme Court]]
  
  
|-
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'''Oklahoma Counties'''<br>
|style="color:#000;" align="right"| [[Oklahoma ballot initiative news|...more Oklahoma ballot initiative news]]
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[[Adair County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Adair]] • [[Alfalfa County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Alfalfa]] • [[Atoka County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Atoka]] • [[Beaver County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Beaver]] • [[Beckham County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Beckham]] • [[Blaine County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Blaine]] • [[Bryan County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Bryan]] • [[Caddo County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Caddo]] • [[Canadian County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Canadian]] • [[Carter County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Carter]] • [[Cherokee County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Cherokee]] • [[Choctaw County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Choctaw]] • [[Cimarron County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Cimarron]] • [[Cleveland County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Cleveland]] • [[Coal County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Coal]] • [[Comanche County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Comanche]] • [[Cotton County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Cotton]] • [[Craig County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Craig]] • [[Creek County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Creek]] • [[Custer County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Custer]] • [[Delaware County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Delaware]] • [[Dewey County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Dewey]]  • [[Ellis County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Ellis]] • [[Garfield County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Garfield]] • [[Garvin County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Garvin]] • [[Grady County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Grady]] • [[Grant County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Grant]] • [[Greer County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Greer]] • [[Harmon County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Harmon]] • [[Harper County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Harper]] • [[Haskell County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Haskell]] • [[Hughes County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Hughes]] • [[Jackson County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Jackson]] • [[Jefferson County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Jefferson]] • [[Johnston County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Johnston]] • [[Kay County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Kay]] • [[Kingfisher County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Kingfisher]] • [[Kiowa County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Kiowa]] • [[Latimer County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Latimer]] • [[Le Flore County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Le Flore]] • [[Lincoln County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Lincoln]] • [[Logan County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Logan]] • [[Love County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Love]] • [[Major County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Major]] • [[Marshall County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Marshall]] • [[Mayes County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Mayes]] • [[McClain County, Oklahoma ballot measures|McClain]] • [[McCurtain County, Oklahoma ballot measures|McCurtain]] • [[McIntosh County, Oklahoma ballot measures|McIntosh]] • [[Murray County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Murray]] • [[Muskogee County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Muskogee]] • [[Noble County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Noble]] • [[Nowata County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Nowata]]  • [[Okfuskee County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Okfuskee]] • [[Oklahoma County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Oklahoma]] • [[Okmulgee County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Okmulgee]] • [[Osage County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Osage]] • [[Ottawa County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Ottawa]]  • [[Pawnee County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Pawnee]] • [[Payne County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Payne]] • [[Pittsburg County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Pittsburg]] • [[Pontotoc County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Pontotoc]] • [[Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Pottawatomie]] • [[Pushmataha County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Pushmataha]]  • [[Roger Mills County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Roger Mills]] • [[Rogers County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Rogers]] • [[Seminole County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Seminole]] • [[Sequoyah County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Sequoyah]] • [[Stephens County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Stephens]] • [[Texas County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Texas]] • [[Tillman County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Tillman]] • [[Tulsa County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Tulsa]] • [[Wagoner County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Wagoner]] • [[Washington County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Washington]] • [[Washita County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Washita]] • [[Woods County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Woods]] • [[Woodward County, Oklahoma ballot measures|Woodward]]
  
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--------------------------------In the news, On this day------------------------------->
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'''Voting and elections'''
|class="MainPageBG" style="width:50%; border:2px solid #330099; background:#F5F5DC; vertical-align:top" color:#000;"|
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* [[Portal:Congress|Congress]] ([[United States House of Representatives elections in Oklahoma, 2012|2012 U.S. House elections]])
{| width="100%" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="5" style="vertical-align:top; background:#F5F5DC;"
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* [[Portal:State Executive Officials|State executive officials]] ([[Oklahoma state executive official elections, 2012|2012]])
!
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* [[Oklahoma State Legislature|State legislature]] ([[Oklahoma State Senate elections, 2012|2012 Senate]] & [[Oklahoma House of Representatives elections, 2012|House elections]])
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* [[List of Oklahoma ballot measures|State ballot measures]] ([[Oklahoma 2012 ballot measures|2012]])
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* [[Local ballot measures, Oklahoma|Local ballot measures]]
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* [[Redistricting in Oklahoma]]
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* [[School bond and tax elections in Oklahoma]]
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* [[Public financing of campaigns#Oklahoma|Public Financing of Campaigns]]
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* [[Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States]]
  
<h2 style="margin:0; background:#00008B; font-size:120%; font-weight:bold; border:1px solid #a3b0bf; text-align:left; color:#faf5ff; padding:0.2em 0.4em;">Oklahoma ballot basics</h2>
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'''Laws and history'''
|-
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* [[Laws governing ballot measures in Oklahoma]]
|style="color:#000;"|'''Statewide ballot measures'''
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** [[Laws governing recall in Oklahoma|Laws governing recall]]
* [[Oklahoma 2008 ballot measures]]
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** [[Laws governing local ballot measures in Oklahoma|Laws governing local measures]]
* [[List of Oklahoma ballot measures|List of Oklahoma ballot measures]]
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** [[Laws governing the initiative process in Oklahoma|Laws governing the initiative process]]
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* [[Oklahoma signature requirements|Signature requirements]]
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* [[History of Initiative & Referendum in Oklahoma|History of initiatives and referendum]]
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* [[Campaign finance requirements for Oklahoma ballot measures|Campaign finance requirements]]
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* [[Laws governing citizen grand juries in Oklahoma|Citizen grand juries]]
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* [[Oklahoma challenged ballot laws|Challenged ballot laws]]
  
|-
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'''Media and activism'''
|style="color:#000;"|'''County and city ballot measures'''
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* [[Oklahoma media|Newspapers and blogs]]
* [[Oklahoma 2008 local ballot measures]]
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* [[:Category:Oklahoma political organizations|Political organizations]] and [[:Category:Oklahoma ballot initiative activists|ballot activists]]
|-
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|style="color:#000;"| '''Laws and history'''
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* [[Procedures for qualifying an initiative in Oklahoma]]
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* [[Oklahoma signature requirements]]
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* [[Campaign finance requirements for Oklahoma ballot measures|Oklahoma campaign finance requirements]]
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* [[Laws governing the initiative process in Oklahoma]]
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* [[Laws governing citizen grand juries in Oklahoma]]
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* [[History of Initiative & Referendum in Oklahoma]]
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* [http://okinitiatives.googlepages.com/ Oklahoma Initiatives Law and Practice]
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* [[Oklahoma challenged ballot laws]]
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|-
 
|style="color:#000;" align="left"|'''Managing, covering, and spinning initiatives'''
 
* [http://newsok.com/ NewsOK.com]
 
* [[Oklahoma media]]
 
  
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<!----------------------------------Right Sidebar------------------------------->
|style="color:#000;" align="left"|'''General Information'''
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|class="MainPageBG" style="width:30%; border:0px; vertical-align:top" color:#000;"|
* [[About Oklahoma]]
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{| width="100%" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="5" style="vertical-align:top;"
* [http://www.ok.gov/ Oklahoma's Official website]
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* [http://www.sos.state.ok.us/ Secretary of State's web site]
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:'''Key government officials'''
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* [[Brad Henry|Governor Brad Henry]]
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* [[Lieutenant Governor - Jari Askins]]
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* [[Oklahoma Secretary of State]]
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* [[Oklahoma Attorney General]]
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* [[Justice Joseph M. Watt]]
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* [[Vice-Chief Justice James E. Edmondson]]
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<h2 style="margin:0; background:#00008B; font-size:120%; font-weight:bold; border:1px solid #a3b0bf; text-align:left; color: white; padding:0.2em 0.4em;">Oklahomans can vote on...</h2>
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{{Democracy |
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Legislatively-referred state statute                    = {{allowed}} |
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Legislatively-referred constitutional amendment                  = {{allowed}} |
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Initiated state statute        = {{allowed}} |
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Initiated constitutional amendment  = {{allowed}} |
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Veto referendum  = {{allowed}} |
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Official Recall = {{prohibited}} |
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}}
  
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<br><br><br><br><br><br>
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<h2 style="margin:0; background:#00008B; font-size:120%; font-weight:bold; border:1px solid #a3b0bf; text-align:left; color: white; padding:0.2em 0.4em;">Contribute to Ballotpedia</h2>
 
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<h2 style="margin:0; background:#00008B; font-size:120%; font-weight:bold; border:1px solid #a3b0bf; text-align:left; color:#faf5ff; padding:0.2em 0.4em;">Oklahoma community on Ballotpedia</h2>
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|-
 
|-
 
|style="color:#000;"|  
 
|style="color:#000;"|  
* [[Ballotpedia:About|Ballotpedia]] is building its [[Ballotpedia:Community|community pages]].  Jump in!
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* Articles '''you''' can improve:
* [[Ballotpedia:Oklahoma|The Oklahoma Project]] is where to find out about building Oklahoma information on Ballotpedia.
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**[[Oklahoma Secretary of State]]
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**[[Campaign finance requirements for Oklahoma ballot measures|Oklahoma campaign finance requirements]]
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**[[Oklahoma challenged ballot laws]]
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* Join the [[Ballotpedia:Oklahoma|The Oklahoma Project]] on Ballotpedia.
 +
* Add info on [[Oklahoma House of Representatives|Representatives]] and [[Oklahoma State Senate|Senators]].
 
|-
 
|-
 
|style="color:#000;" align="right"| [[Getting Started on Ballotpedia|...get started now]]
 
|style="color:#000;" align="right"| [[Getting Started on Ballotpedia|...get started now]]
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<h2 style="margin:0; background:#00008B; font-size:120%; font-weight:bold; border:1px solid #a3b0bf; text-align:left; color:#faf5ff; padding:0.2em 0.4em;">Transparency and Judiciary</h2>
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|width="101px" align="center"|[[Sunshinereview:Oklahoma|Oklahoma Transparency on Sunshine Review]]
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|width="101px" align="center"|[[Judgepedia:Oklahoma|Oklahoma Judges on Judgepedia]]
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==References==
 
 
<references/>
 
  
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__NOTOC__
  
 
[[Category:Oklahoma]]
 
[[Category:Oklahoma]]
[[Category:States with Initiative and Referendum]]
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[[Category:States with initiative and referendum]]
[[Category:States where constitutional and state statutes can be amended through I&R]]
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[[Category:States with initiated amendments]]
 
[[Category:State portals]]
 
[[Category:State portals]]

Revision as of 11:27, 22 May 2013

675px-Flag of Oklahoma.svg.png
Oklahoma on Ballotpedia

Oklahoma ballot news

2013 State Executive Awards Dec 31, 2013

By Greg Janetka

It is with great pride and pleasure that we give to you the first annual state executive official awards! These 11 categories give a snapshot of some of the biggest stories of the year related to the top echelons of state government.

Star bookmark.png Most ignored race: WI Superintendent of Public Instruction

Wisconsin
Being an odd-numbered year, only a handful of state executive races were on the ballot across the country. One of them was the nonpartisan race for Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction. And yet, not many people seemed to notice it was even happening. As Jonathan Nathan wrote in an article on Blue the Nation, "by and large, nobody did notice. I certainly didn’t. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction, much less an election to decide the officeholder in 2013."[1]

While officially a nonpartisan position, the race pitted progressive incumbent Tony Evers against Republican Assemblyman Don Pridemore in what was essentially a battle over Gov. Scott Walker's education proposals. Pridemore supported Walker's plan to expand the use of vouchers in the state while not increasing public school spending. Meanwhile Evers, who was first elected in 2009, opposed both measures and wants to increase spending by $225 per student.[2] Regarding school safety, Pridemore proposed allowing schools to have armed volunteers to provide security, which Evers said risks turning schools into the "wild west."[3]

In the end, Evers easily won re-election on April 2, defeating Pridemore by a margin of 61.1 percent to 38.7 percent.

Star bookmark.png Most mudslinging in a race: Virginia Governor

Virginia
This year's battle for Governor of Virginia often saw issues take a backseat to controversies and mudslinging. It didn't help that the race was to replace Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who spent most of the year under a microscope for a gifts and loan scandal revolving around the dietary supplement maker Star Scientific.

In an example of just how alienated the candidates became from voters, The Daily Show compared the choice between businessman Terry McAuliffe (D) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to that of a heart attack and cancer.[4]

Like McDonnell, Cuccinelli's controversies centered around his acceptance of $18,893 in gifts between 2009 and 2012 from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams - something McAuliffe's campaign jumped on.[5] While Bob McDonnell worked to return all of his received gifts totaling $125,000, Cuccinelli stated the type of gifts he received could not be returned - these included Thanksgiving dinner, flights, and vacations.[6] Cuccinelli neglected to report some of the gifts, including the stays at Williams' house. He maintained that he had forgotten to include them and reported them as soon as an aide on his staff reminded him.

Meanwhile, Cucinelli attacked McAuliffe for his involvement with GreenTech Automotice, which came under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. McAuliffe resigned as chairman of the company in December 2012, but remained a major shareholder. The investigation had to do with a federal program which allows foreigners to receive permanent residency if they contribute at least $500,000 toward projects to create jobs within the U.S. Subsequently, $25 million in Chinese investments came to GreenTech by way of 50 greencards. In an effort to move the process along more quickly, McAuliffe started setting up meetings with officials in higher offices.[7] McAuliffe wanted Greentech's appearance on his resume to endorse him as a jobs creator for the 2013 election, but instead the story has kept him in the controversial lime light.

In the end, voters chose McAuliffe by a margin of 47.8 percent to 45.2 percent to lead the state for the next four years.

Star bookmark.png Closest race: Virginia Attorney General

Virginia
The race for Attorney General of Virginia gets the award for closest race. Unofficial results on election night showed Mark Obenshain (R) leading Mark Herring (D) by less than 1,000 votes out of nearly 2.2 million cast. A week later, by the midnight deadline for local election boards to submit results to the state, Herring had taken the lead by an unofficial 164 votes.[8][9] The State Board of Elections certified the results on November 25, 2013, announcing Herring had won by 165 votes.[10][11]

Since the margin was equal to or less than 0.5 percent of the total vote, Obenshain was allowed to request a public-financed recount, which he did on November 27.[12] As ballots were recounted Herring increased his lead, finally leading Obenshain to concede defeat on December 18. His victory secured the Democratic sweep of Virginia statewide races this year.[13]

Star bookmark.png Most turnover in one office: Oklahoma Secretary of State

Oklahoma
The award for most turnover in one office during the year goes to the Oklahoma Secretary of State, where four people held the office throughout 2013. The year began with Glenn Coffee, the incumbent since 2010, holding the seat. He left the office February 1 in order to return to the private sector.[14] Enter Michelle Day, the Assistant Secretary of State. She took over the job on an interim basis, serving until March 1. At that point Gov. Mary Fallin (R) named attorney and businessman Larry Parman to take over on a permanent basis. His permanent status lasted only some nine months as Fallin named him as Secretary of Commerce, which he transitioned to in November. Finally, former legislator Chris Benge was appointed as secretary of state and has served since. How long he will last is anybody's guess.[15]



Star bookmark.png Shortest term in office: Indiana Auditor of State

Indiana
Elected chair of the state Republican Party, Indiana Auditor of State Tim Berry (R) resigned his seat on July 22, activating Gov. Mike Pence's gubernatorial authority to appoint an interim auditor to serve out the remainder of Berry's unexpired term.[16] Saying that he wanted to replace Berry with someone who would run for a full term in 2014, Pence named Dwayne Sawyer as Berry's successor.[17][18] Sworn-in on August 19, Sawyer became the first African-American from the Republican Party to hold statewide office in Indiana history.[19]

The appointment, however, turned out to be much shorter than Pence had wanted - less than four months later, Sawyer sent shock-waves through Indiana's political ranks when he announced his resignation, effective December 15. Sawyer cited family reasons in the letter of resignation he tendered to Gov. Pence on November 25.[20][21]

Star bookmark.png Office that remained vacant the longest: Delaware Public Service Commission

Delaware
The award for the position that sat vacant the longest during 2013 goes to a seat on the Delaware Public Service Commission, which remained empty the entire year. In fact, the seat has been vacant since Arnetta McRae left the PSC in October 2011 to become CEO of the American Association of Blacks in Energy.[22] Thus, the seat has been vacant for over 800 days and counting.

The commission is currently served by four part time commissioners. The Governor of Delaware has not nominated anyone for the position, and state law requires that the open position be filled by someone who lives in the City of Wilmington. Department of state employee Matthew R. Hartigan assured that to date, the lack of a fifth commissioner has not caused any issues regarding Commission business.[23]

Star bookmark.png Shortest lived Gov./Lt Gov ticket: FitzGerald/Kearney in Ohio

Ohio
Elected by a strong conservative base, including support from tea party groups, Ohio Governor John Kasich is running for re-election in 2014. While he led the Republican sweep of statewide offices in 2010, Kasich drew the fury of conservatives in February 2013 when he announced he would expand Medicaid in the state using federal money, possibly hurting his re-election chances.[24][25] Equally alienating left-leaning voters with his conservative stances, Democrats saw the increasing potential to take the seat and looked to recruit a strong ticket to take on Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor next year. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald stepped up for the gubernatorial slot, naming state Senator Eric Kearney as his running mate on November 20.

Soon after his selection, it came to light that Kearney, his wife, and the company they owned owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid federal and state taxes. The campaign tried to play down the story but more details came to light, showing the amount the Kearneys owed creeping close to $1 million. Finally, Kearney withdrew from the race on December 10. FitzGerald has not named a new running mate, saying he might do so by the end of the month or in early January.[26][27]

Star bookmark.png Boldest ultimatum: Gov. Quinn refuses to pay lawmakers

Illinois
The award for boldest ultimatum of 2013 goes to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) who tried to hold legislator's paychecks hostage until they passed a bill to deal with the state's $100 billion pension deficit. While the problem has been many years in the making, it came to a head on July 11 when Quinn used his line-item veto power on a budget bill to eliminate lawmakers' pay for August 1st from the budget. He also voluntarily suspended his own pay until a deal could be reached.[28][29][30]

On July 30, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan (D) and President of the Senate John Cullerton responded by filing a lawsuit against the governor, arguing the denial of pay was unconstitutional as it undermines the separation of powers. Ultimately, on September 26, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Neil Cohen ruled that Quinn must reinstate lawmakers' pay immediately. The judge declared Quinn's act of withholding paychecks as unconstitutional.[31] The Legislature passed a pension deal and Quinn signed it on December 5. Many, especially labor unions, are unhappy with it and have threatened to sue.[32]

Star bookmark.png Most anticlimactic party switch: Lincoln Chafee

Rhode Island
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee served in the U.S. Senate as a Republican from 1999-2007. Losing his bid for re-election in 2006 to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, Chafee left the GOP in 2007. Elected to the governorship as an Independent on November 2, 2010, he became the only governor not to belong to one of the major parties when he was sworn in January 4, 2011.[33]

With poll numbers showing his potential re-election in jeopardy, as well as his affinity for President and former Senate colleague Barack Obama, Chafee made his second party switch, formally joining the Democratic Party on May 30 of this year. Thus, Chafee was expected to seek re-election on the Democratic ticket in 2014, but announced on September 4 that he would not seek a second term.[34][35]

Star bookmark.png Office with the biggest mess to clean up: Utah Attorney General

Utah
Even before he took office in January, there were signs that John Swallow's tenure as Attorney General of Utah would be in the spotlight for negative reasons. The 2012 primary between Swallow and Sean Reyes was called "one of the dirtiest in years." Organized attacks against both candidates resulted in at least one defamation suit, from Reyes, who accused Swallow of working illegally "in concert" with the Nevada based PAC "It's Now or Never, Inc," to run a smear campaign against him.[36] That could have been passed off as politics as usual, but instead it was a harbinger of things to come.

The real trouble for Swallow began soon after he took office when businessman Jeremy Johnson accused Swallow of being involved in a plan to bribe Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a federal investigation into Johnson's Internet marketing company disappear.[37] That was followed by multiple complaints against Swallow filed with the Utah State Bar as well as a petition filed with the lieutenant governor's office alleging election law violations. Numerous officials of both parties asked him to resign, which he refused, leading the Utah House of Representatives to begin proceedings to investigate Swallow and consider the possibility of impeachment.

Throughout everything, Swallow maintained his innocence, but ultimately resigned effective December 3. Adding one final controversy to his tenure, by waiting until December to leave office Swallow became eligible for an annual yearly pension of approximately $12,000. He denied money had anything to do with the timing.[38] Brian Tarbet, named as interim officeholder, was one of seven candidates who filed to be appointed permanently to the seat until a special election is held next year. While the seven diverged on a number of issues, one thing they could all agree on was that the trials and tribulations Swallow put the office through during 2013 left a huge mess that needed to be addressed as soon as possible.

Star bookmark.png State with the most irregular office changes: Indiana

Indiana
Our last award is for the state with the most irregular office changes. As of December 19, Ballotpedia had tracked 57 irregular changes in 30 states. Indiana, with seven changes, had the most.

Indiana Director of Agriculture Joseph Kelsay resigned to accept a new job when it became known that he would not be asked to continue in the position. Kelsay's successor, Gina Sheets, resigned in December in order to assist with an agriculture advancement project in Liberia.[39] In July, Indiana Auditor of State Tim Berry left to assume the role of Indiana Republican Party chairman. By December, Berry's appointed replacement, State Auditor Dwayne Sawyer, abruptly resigned, citing family reasons. In September, Sean Keefer resigned as labor commissioner to become the governor's legislative director. Finally, two members of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission - Larry Landis and Kari Bennett - decided to vacate their commission posts before their term end dates. Landis announced his retirement in September, well ahead of his term's scheduled December 2015 expiration, while Bennett left her seat roughly five months early to take a new job.[40][41][42]

  1. Blue the Nation, "The Wisconsin Election Everyone Forgot to Notice," October 28, 2013
  2. Twin Cities, "Wisconsin: Evers, Pridemore clash in education superintendent debate," March 13, 2013
  3. Wisconsin Radio Network, "Stark contrast in state superintendent race," March 13, 2013
  4. Yahoo! News, "Virginia Governor's Race a True 'Unpopularity' Contest," November 6, 2013
  5. Think Progress, Despite Ken Cuccinelli’s Claims, Records Show Deep Involvement In Bob McDonnell Ethics Controversy, July 10, 2013
  6. Newsplex, AP: Cuccinelli Says He Will Not Return Gifts From Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, July 31, 2013
  7. New York Times, Hopeful’s Connections Jolt Bitter Virginia Race, August 9, 2013
  8. Politico, Virginia AG race: Democrat widens lead, November 13, 2013
  9. Washington Post, "Obenshain, Herring virtually tied in Virginia attorney general’s race; recount expected," November 6, 2013
  10. Washington Post, "Herring wins Virginia attorney general race, elections board announces," November 25, 2013
  11. Blue Virginia, "Attorney General-Elect Herring: "I look forward to serving the people of Virginia as Attorney General," November 25, 2013
  12. USA Today, "Virginia attorney general race heads to recount," November 27, 2013
  13. Washington Post, "Obenshain concedes Virginia attorney general’s race," December 18, 2013
  14. The Oklahoman, "Oklahoma secretary of state will step down," December 7, 2012
  15. Edmond Sun, "Fallin names Benge as secretary of state," October 23, 2013
  16. NWI Politics, "Governor seeks 'best' state auditor," July 11, 2013
  17. Indiana Auditor of State, "Homepage," accessed August 21, 2013
  18. Indiana Governor Mike Pence, "Press Release: GOVERNOR TO ATTEND SWEARING-IN OF AUDITOR DWAYNE SAWYER, CHAIR CAREER COUNCIL MEETING," August 19, 2013
  19. ‘’WTHR.com,’’ “Sawyer sworn in as new Indiana state auditor,” August 19, 2013
  20. Herald Bulletin, "Party leaders surprised by Sawyer resignation," November 28, 2013
  21. WishTV.com, "State Auditor Dwayne Sawyer resigns," November 26, 2013
  22. National Association of Water Companies, "DE PSC Chair to Leave," October 12, 2011
  23. Kristen Mathews, "Email communication with Department of State employee Matthew R. Hartigan," October 16, 2013
  24. Politico, "John Kasich’s Obamacare flip burns conservatives," February 4, 2013
  25. National Journal, "Tea Party Groups Clash With Kasich in Ohio," May 3, 2013
  26. Bucyrus Telegraph Forum, "Gov. candidate FitzGerald chooses Cincinnati state senator as 2014 running mate," November 20, 2013
  27. The Columbus Dispatch, "Eric Kearney out as Ed FitzGerald's running mate for governor's race," December 10, 2013
  28. "Chicago Tribune", "Quinn hits lawmakers 'in the wallet' as pension dispute simmers," July 11, 2013
  29. "Huffington Post", "Pat Quinn Pay Freeze: Lawmakers React After Illinois Governor Pulls Harsh -- And Maybe Illegal -- Move ," July 11, 2013
  30. "New York Times", "Illinois: Lawmakers May Miss Payday," July 11, 2013
  31. foxnews.com, "Judge says Illinois governor must reinstate lawmakers' pay," accessed September 27, 2013
  32. Huffington Post, "Illinois Pension Law Signed Into Law By Governor Quinn ," December 5, 2013
  33. Rhode Island Governor, "About" accessed November 3, 2012
  34. The Associated Press, "RI Gov. Chafee open to running for 2nd term as Dem," December 14, 2012
  35. ABC News, "RI Gov. Lincoln Chafee Won't Run for 2nd Term," September 4, 2013
  36. KSL.com, "Mysterious ads, slander allegations plague attorney general's race," June 21, 2012
  37. SFGate, "Lawyer: No charges for Utah AG in bribery probe," September 12, 2013
  38. KUTV, "Swallow Could Earn $12,000/Yr by Delaying Resignation ," November 26, 2013
  39. ‘’JC online “Gina Sheets excited about new AG job” Accessed January 24, 2012
  40. Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, "News release: IURC Commissioner Larry Landis Announces Plans to Retire in 2014," September 23, 2013
  41. Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, "News release: Commissioner Kari Bennett to leave the IURC," November 8, 2013
  42. Evansville Courier-Press, "Indiana utility regulator criticized over job change," November 13, 2013
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