Recreational Marijuana Campaign Turns To Oklahoma Supreme Court For Ballot Question
News 9 - August 26, 2022 6:41 am
OKLAHOMA CITY –
Advocates for recreational marijuana have enough signatures to get the state question on the November ballot, but the stamp of approval from the Secretary of State doesn’t mean Oklahomans will see it the ballot.
The campaign “Yes on 820” is now taking legal action. They told News 9 voters shouldn’t have to pay because the state took too long to verify signatures.
At first Michelle Tilley, the Campaign Director, said the news was a victory.
“The Secretary of State submitted a report on Monday saying that we had more than enough valid signatures to go to the November ballot and we were very excited,” she said.
The hard-fought win cut short for the group advocating for recreational marijuana.
“The problem we are running into however is that there is a printing deadline with the election board and so the election board has said they are not going to print state question 820 on the ballot, said Tilley.
The Secretary of State hired Western Petition System LLC to validate signatures.
“Normally a count only takes a couple of weeks and this one took about 48 days so that has caused this delay that has now put us in jeopardy of being put on the November 2022 ballot,” she said.
With 22,000 more signatures than required, “Yes on 820” is now asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to weigh in.
“Our campaign filed a lawsuit with the Oklahoma Supreme Court to step in and order the secretary of the election board to print state question 820 on the ballot,” said the Campaign Director.
The State Election Board told News 9 they don’t comment on pending litigation.
“The right to petition is a sacred right in our country and we believe that just because the state delayed our count that the people shouldn’t be penalized from voting on this important state question. This is the reason we asked the state to step in,” said Tilley.
If the state question isn’t printed in November, they will retain the signatures collected for a future ballot.
The State Supreme Court will hear arguments Friday, August 26 in court. News 9 will be following the story and have updates as it becomes available.