Sunday, March 8, 2020
Educate voters, don't restrict them to participate in their government!
Weekly Opinion Editorial
HJR#1027 RESTRICTS ALL OKLAHOMANS!
by Steve Fair
Oklahoma is one of 24 states that have an initiative petition process. It allows citizens to bypass the legislature by collecting signatures from registered voters and get issues on the ballot. The number of signatures required is tied to the total number of votes cast in the gubernatorial elections. Currently 177,958 signatures are required to get a state question on the ballot that would amend the state constitution, 94,911 for one that would place a new statute on the books. The signatures must be collected in a 90 day period. Another way a state question gets on the ballot is if the state legislature (both chambers) passes a ‘joint resolution.’
Rep. John Pfeiffer, (R-Orlando), House Deputy Floor Leader, and Sen. Kim David, (R-Porter), Senate Majority Floor Leader have introduced House Joint Resolution #1027. HJR 1027, if passed by the House and Senate, sends to a vote of the people a proposed amendment to the state constitution that, if approved, will change the percentage of legal voters required to propose an initiative or referendum petition from statewide to every congressional district of the state. HJR #1027 would require 8% of all registered voters in the 5 congressional districts to sign an initiative petition. HJR#1027 passed the Rules committee 6-1 on February 22nd with one Democrat voting no. Three thoughts:
Third, legislators should leave well enough alone. The key to good government is educating citizens/voters, not restricting them. While the current system may result in liberal issues getting on the ballot, the answer is educating voters on the issue. Regulating and restricting liberty for one group restricts every Oklahoman. Contact your legislator and tell them to vote no on HJR #1027.