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Oklahoma signature requirements

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Signature requirements
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This page details Oklahoma signature requirements. In many states, the signatures of registered voters must be collected to place candidates or initiatives on the ballot. However, for candidates, filing fees are sometimes required or accepted in lieu of signatures.

Federal offices

U.S. Senate

Candidates for U.S. Senate must pay a $1,000 fee. In lieu of payment, a candidate may submit a petition with signatures from at least 5% of registered voters.

U.S. House

Candidates for U.S. House must pay a $750 filling fee. In lieu of payment, a candidate may submit a petition with signatures from at least 5% of registered voters.

Filing deadlines

2012

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2012 U.S. Congress elections

Candidates wishing to run in the June 26, 2012 primary had to file by April 13, 2012.[1]

State offices

State legislature

Major party candidates for the State Senate or House of Representatives must pay a $30 filing fee, while non-affliated candidates do not have to submit a fee.

Filing deadlines

2012

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2012 state government elections

State legislative candidates wishing to run in the June 26, 2012 primary had to file by April 13, 2012.[2]

Ballot measures

Signature requirements

Signature requirements in Oklahoma are calculated as a percentage of the total number of votes cast in the state's most recent general election for whichever statewide office (including president) received the highest number of votes in that election.

Because of this method of calculation, the number of required signatures can change fairly dramatically from year-to-year, going down after an election year in which there is no presidential contest, and going back up after an election year in which there was a presidential contest.

For example, in 2008, Oklahoma voters cast 1,462,661 votes for the office of president, whereas in 2010, voters cast 1,034,767 votes for governor. As a result, to put a constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot requires 155,215 signatures, whereas to put an amendment on the 2010 ballot would have required 219,400 signatures, a difference of more than 60,000 signatures.

Current Requirements

The number of signatures required is tied to the total vote cast for governor in the last gubernatorial election. Amendments, statutes, and veto referendums must receive signatures equaling 15%, 8%, and 5% of this vote, respectively. Previously rejected measures require 25% of this vote in order to be placed on the ballot again within 3 years. Signatures are presumed valid unless challenged.

The basis of the Oklahoma signature requirement used to be the votes cast for the office receiving the most votes in the state's last general election. Due to higher turnout for presidential elections, the signature requirement varied widely every fourth year. In 2010, voters passed Oklahoma State Question 750 amending the requirement.

Year Amendment Statute Veto referendum
2014 155,216 82,782 51,739
2012 155,216 82,782 51,739
2010 219,400 117,013 73,134
2008 138,970 74,117 46,324
1994 208,554 111,229 -
1992 175,656 93,683 -
1990 175,656 - -
1989 136,489 - -

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Oklahoma Constitution, Article V, Section 2 & Section 6

Basis for calculation

  • The highest number of votes cast in the most recent general election (2010) were the votes cast for Governor; this number came to 1,034,767.[3] This has led to a decrease in the number of signatures required for a 2012 ballot initiative since the relevant number going into 2010 was the number of votes cast for Presidential elector in 2008, which was 1,462,661 votes.
  • Previously rejected initiative or referendum measures require 25% of the vote in signatures. Currently, this number is 258,692.

Signature filing deadline

  • The absolute latest deadline for submitting signatures -- regardless of when the proponent started to collect them -- is 60 days prior to the election or September 7, 2012.
  • However, the deadline for filing signatures in 2012 has not yet officially been set.[4]

Proposed reforms

Main article: Changes in 2009 to laws governing the initiative process

SJR 13 and SB 852 are both sponsored by Randy Brogdon.

See also

External links

References