At least seven state questions may be on the Nov. 8 ballot

Several additional state questions have been approved for the November 8 general election ballot. They are:

  • State Question (SQ) 779, which would increase the state sales tax by 1 percent to fund teacher pay raises and other education causes.
  • SQ 780, which liberalizes some criminal offenses, such as drug possession and property crimes, as misdemeanors instead of felonies.
  • SQ 781, which would take money saved from implementing SQ 780 and allow counties to fund community rehabilitation programs.
  • SQ 790, which would remove a section of the Oklahoma Constitution prohibiting use of state resources for religious purposes. This would allow the return of the Ten Commandments Monument to the State Capitol.
  • SQ 792, which would liberalize state liquor laws and allow wine and full-strength beer to be sold in grocery stores and convenience stores.

Two other state questions already are on the ballot. SQ 776 would declare that the death penalty is not cruel or unusual punishment and would allow the Legislature to designate any method of execution if a current method is declared unconstitutional. SQ 777 would prevent lawmakers from passing legislation to regulate agriculture unless there is a compelling state interest.

Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge has completed the counting of signatures for State Question 788, Initiative Petition 412. The measure, which deals with legalizing medical marijuana, would amend and add to Oklahoma Statute Title 63, Public Health and Safety.

The secretary of state’s office counted a total of 67,761 signatures for the proposed state question.

Benge also announced his office has completed the counting of signatures for State Question (SQ) 787, Initiative Petition 411.

The measure would amend Oklahoma Statutes Title 34, which deals with the Oklahoma initiative and referendum process.

The secretary of state’s office counted a total of 59,981 signatures for the proposed state question.

A total of 65,987 signatures is needed for an initiative petition amending Oklahoma statutes to be placed on an election ballot. That equates to 8 percent of the 824,831 ballots cast in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

There are still several steps left in the process before this initiative can qualify to be placed on a ballot for a vote of the people.

The secretary of state’s office will send a report on its findings to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The state Supreme Court determines whether the number of signatures counted is sufficient for the proposal to be placed on an election ballot. Then ithas to be approved by the Attorney General followed by published notification to the public.