Those in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana in Oklahoma have collected the necessary signatures to place the problem on the ballot in November, but that doesn’t guarantee that voters in the state will actually get to vote on the subject.
The “Yes on 820” movement has initiated legal proceedings. In an interview with News 9, they argued that voters shouldn’t have to pay since signature verification took too long in the state.
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Initially, Campaign Director Michelle Tilley framed the development as a success.
According to a report submitted by the Secretary of State on Monday, we had more than enough valid signatures to be on the next ballot.
Unfortunately for marijuana legalization supporters, their hard-won victory was cut short.
As Tilley put it, “the problem we are running into is that there is a printing deadline with the election board,” so they have decided not to include state question 820 on the ballot.
Western Petition System LLC was contracted by the Secretary of State to verify petition signers.
She explained that the delay was caused because “normally a count only takes a couple of weeks but this one took about 48 days,” putting their inclusion on the November 2022 ballot in jeopardy.
“Yes on 820” has submitted a petition to the Oklahoma Supreme Court with 22,000 more signatures than were necessary.
According to the Campaign Director, “our campaign filed a lawsuit with the Oklahoma Supreme Court to step in and to order the secretary of the election board to print state question 820 on the ballot.”
The State Election Board Refused To Address The Ongoing Lawsuit
We believe that the people shouldn’t be prevented from casting a vote on this crucial state question simply because the state delayed our count, which we see as a violation of the people’s right to petition under our Constitution. Tilley explained why they had sought state intervention.
If the state question is not included on the ballot this November, the collected signatures will be saved for a future election.
On Friday, the 26th of August, the State Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments and will continue to report on the developing story.