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High voter turnout increases initiative signature threshold

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OKLAHOMA CITY – High voter turnout during Oklahoma’s gubernatorial election has had an unintended consequence _ an increase in the state’s initiative petition signature requirement.

The Journal Record reports that increasing the signature threshold for initiative petitions could make it harder for organizers to get proposals to amend the state constitution on the ballot.

The Oklahoma State Election Board says turnout for the Nov. 6 general election surpassed all gubernatorial elections in the past 20 years, with 1.19 million people heading to the polls. That means that petition organizers will have to obtain the signatures of 178,500 voters, or 15 percent of turnout in the last gubernatorial election, to get an issue on the ballot. The previous threshold was 124,000.

Organizers say the higher threshold will make the signature collection process more difficult.

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