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Ballot Title, What's That?

Every State Question, or ballot measure, in Oklahoma must include a ballot title that will appear on every voter’s ballot.  Oklahoma law (Title 34, Section 9) specifies that the ballot title must fairly and accurately describe the measure in 200 words or less. In addition, it must be free of jargon, be written at an eighth grade reading level, and clearly represent the effect of a “yes” vote and a “no” vote. The ballot language must always be formulated so that a “yes” vote is a vote in favor of the proposition in question, and a “no” vote is a vote to reject it.

Initiative petitions and legislatively-initiated ballot measures must contain a draft ballot title.  When signed copies of a petition are filed, or when a legislative referendum has been submitted to the Secretary of State, the state Attorney General reviews the proposed ballot title and may rewrite the title if he determines that it does not meet legal requirements.  Any person may challenge the Attorney General’s proposed ballot language to the Supreme Court, which may rewrite the language.

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