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Initiative Petition, What's That?

Oklahoma citizens have the right to initiate statewide legislation via ballot measures, or State Questions, in the form of either statutory or constitutional amendments.

After an initiative petition is drafted, it goes through a lengthy process which can include various legal challenges. To qualify for the ballot, a citizen-initiated statutory amendment requires signatures of registered voters equal to 8 percent of the votes cast at the last general election for the Office of Governor, while a constitutional amendment requires 15 percent. Citizens also have the power to repeal legislation via veto referendum, which requires signatures equal to 5 percent of voters in the last Gubernatorial election. Once a petition has been determined to have a sufficient number of signatures and meets all other requirements, the Governor has the authority to call a special election to decide the petition or to place it on the ballot at the time of the next primary or general election.

Between 1989 and 2014, only 12 initiative petitions qualified for the ballot; of these, five passed and seven failed. Three initiative petitions are on the 2016 ballot: SQ 779, SQ 780 and SQ 781.

An initiative petition (SQ 787) was launched in 2016 to lengthen the time period to gather signatures for initiative petitions from 90 days to one year, but it failed to gather enough signatures.

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