The Oklahoma Supreme Court has denied the group’s request to allow it to go to a statewide vote, saying, the organizers of SQ820 “have no clear legal right and respondents [State Election Board] have no plain legal duty” to put the petition on the November 8, 2022 ballot.
Deadlines set by the State Election Board were missed because the verification process took longer than previous petitions.
The Court acknowledged that organizers of SQ820 “diligently prepared” the petition for submission on this November’s election, but delays were caused “by the Secretary of State’s “learning curve” associated with use of the new software and by the filing of four statutorily allowed protests.”
“There is still a possibility of rehearing in two of the protests, which prevents this Court from fully resolving those objections,” said the Court, in their ruling.
SQ820 received enough signitures to be placed on the November ballot, but because of a new verification system, the process to confirm the signatures was delayed.
Michelle Tilley, Campaign Director for SQ820, said the decision was political.
“It is disappointing that a few people with their own political interests were able to use the process to prevent voters from voting on this in November,” said Tilley, in part of a statement.
She has been vocally against the challenges against State Question 820, calling them “delay tactics.”
One of the challenges was against the ballot title, which is the summary of the petition that voters read when they are in the ballot box.
The Court ruled against the challenge, upholding the ballot title. This means SQ820 will be voted on in a later election.
“This is a big deal,” said Tilley. “Now the petition phase is finished, and Oklahomans WILL be voting to legalize recreational marijuana here and we can soon realize all the benefits it will bring to our State.”
Recreational marijuana will be voted on by either the next general election after November 8, 2022 – meaning 2024 – or when a special election is called by the Governor or the Legislature.