After 37 boxes of medical marijuana petition signatures were filed Fri. Aug 15, 2014 by Oklahomans for Health, w/the Oklahoma Secretary of State, some misstatements about the process were corrected, as well as information given by an official to be misleading.
1 of the appointed observers misunderstood the role of the Secretary of State (SOS) in the signature counting process. SOS official overhearing the misstatements, corrected it with explanations as to what SOS does and does not do; and the official went on to explain the role of the courts in this matter.
SOS official explained that after the counting of signatures, they will send the results of the count to the Supreme Court who will declare if the signature count was a sufficient number or insufficient. SOS official also said that if its insufficient, then that’s where it stops. Official added that if its declared a sufficient number, then thats where if someone wants to protest it; and then they can file a protest.
Reportedly, on Thurs Aug 21, 2014, SOS finished counting only 75,384 signatures for medical marijuana petition (sq768). Based on what SOS official said in this video, the signatures should be enroute to the Supreme Court to declare the sufficiency or insufficiency of SOS signature count.
Eventhough the SOS official was correct on most of what she explained, based on our understanding of the statute. However we believe the official was misleading or inaccurate on 1 statement she made as follows: “if its insufficient, then OBVIOUSLY that’s where it stops”. What cause us to question the official’s statement was when she indicated protester against sufficiency has more rights than protester against insufficiency. Therefore we feel that the statement misleads a protester against insufficiency to believe that he or she would be denied equal rights and equal protection. The following is what 34 O.S. § 8.H. says about those rights that includes protesting insufficiency.
Upon order of the Supreme Court it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to forthwith cause to be published, in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the state, a notice of the filing of the signed petitions and the apparent sufficiency or insufficiency thereof and notice that any citizen or citizens of the state may file an objection to the count made by the Secretary of State, by a written notice to the Supreme Court and to the proponent or proponents filing the petition. Any such objection must be filed within ten (10) days after publication and must relate only to the validity or number of the signatures. A copy of the objection to the count shall be filed with the Secretary of State, and notice shall also be given to the Secretary of State.
This video was recorded at the office of Secretary of State in Oklahoma City, OK on 8-15-2014 by Arlene Barnum – OKCAP.
The following is list of reasons that secretary of state would disallow in the physical count, according to state statute:
34 O.S. § 6.1.A. Physical Count of Number of Signatures on Petitions – Notification of Violations
A. The Secretary of State shall make or cause to be made a physical count of the number of signatures on the petitions. In making such count, the Secretary of State shall not include in such physical count:
1. All signatures on any sheet of any petition which is not verified by the person who circulated the sheet of the petition as provided in Section 6 of this title;
2. All signatures of nonresidents;
3. All signatures on a sheet that is not attached to a copy of the petition;
4. All multiple signatures on any printed signature line;
5. All signatures not on a printed signature line;
6. Those signatures by a person who signs with any name other than his own or signs more than once; and
7. All signatures on any sheet on which a notary has failed to sign, the seal of the notary is absent, the commission of the notary has expired or the expiration date is not on the signature sheet.