2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 34. Initiative and Referendum
§34-9. Filing - Ballot title - Official ballot title - Review by Attorney General - Appeal.

34 OK Stat § 34-9 (2014) What's This?

A. When a referendum is ordered by petition of the people against any measure passed by the Legislature or when any measure is proposed by initiative petition, whether as an amendment to the Constitution or as a statute, it shall be the duty of the parties submitting the measure to prepare and file one copy of the measure with the Secretary of State and one copy with the Attorney General.

B. The parties submitting the measure shall also submit a suggested ballot title which shall be filed on a separate sheet of paper and shall not be deemed part of the petition. The suggested ballot title:

1. Shall not exceed two hundred (200) words;

2. Shall explain in basic words, which can be easily found in dictionaries of general usage, the effect of the proposition;

3. Shall not contain any words which have a special meaning for a particular profession or trade not commonly known to the citizens of this state;

4. Shall not reflect partiality in its composition or contain any argument for or against the measure;

5. Shall contain language which clearly states that a "yes" vote is a vote in favor of the proposition and a "no" vote is a vote against the proposition; and

6. Shall not contain language whereby a "yes" vote is, in fact, a vote against the proposition and a "no" vote is, in fact, a vote in favor of the proposition.

C. When a measure is proposed as a constitutional amendment by the Legislature or when the Legislature proposes a statute conditioned upon approval by the people:

1. After final passage of a measure, the Secretary of State shall submit the proposed ballot title to the Attorney General for review as to legal correctness. Within five (5) business days, the Attorney General shall, in writing, notify the Secretary of State, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the principal authors of the bill whether or not the proposed ballot title complies with applicable laws. The Attorney General shall state with specificity any and all defects found and, if necessary, within ten (10) business days of determining that the proposed ballot title is defective, prepare a preliminary ballot title which complies with the law and furnish a copy of such ballot title to the Secretary of State, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the principal authors of the bill. The Attorney General may consider any comments made by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives and respond in writing to the comments and shall file a final ballot title with the Secretary of State no sooner than ten (10) business days and no later than fifteen (15) business days after furnishing the preliminary ballot title; and

2. After receipt of the measure and the official ballot title, as certified by the Attorney General, the Secretary of State shall within five (5) days transmit to the Secretary of the State Election Board an attested copy of the measure, including the official ballot title.

D. The following procedure shall apply to ballot titles of referendums ordered by a petition of the people or any measure proposed by an initiative petition:

1. After the filing of the petition and prior to the gathering of signatures thereon, the Secretary of State shall submit the proposed ballot title to the Attorney General for review as to legal correctness. Within five (5) business days after the filing of the measure and ballot title, the Attorney General shall, in writing, notify the Secretary of State whether or not the proposed ballot title complies with applicable laws. The Attorney General shall state with specificity any and all defects found and, if necessary, within ten (10) business days of determining that the proposed ballot title is defective, prepare and file a ballot title which complies with the law; and

2. Within ten (10) business days after completion of the review by the Attorney General, the Secretary of State shall, if no appeal is filed, transmit to the Secretary of the State Election Board an attested copy of the measure, including the official ballot title, and a certification that the requirements of this section have been met. If an appeal is taken from such ballot title within the time specified in Section 10 of this title, then the Secretary of State shall certify to the Secretary of the State Election Board the ballot title which is finally approved by the Supreme Court.

R.L. 1910, § 3376. Amended by Laws 1939, p. 145, § 1, emerg. eff. Feb. 24, 1939; Laws 1965, c. 224, § 1, emerg. eff. June 16, 1965; Laws 1975, c. 263, § 1, emerg. eff. June 4, 1975; Laws 1983, c. 222, § 1; Laws 1985, c. 192, § 1; Laws 1992, c. 92, § 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1992; Laws 1994, c. 147, § 3, emerg. eff. May 3, 1994; Laws 2005, c. 407, § 2, eff. July 1, 2005; Laws 2009, c. 318, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 2009; Laws 2011, c. 117, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2011.

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