Friday, December 16, 2005

 

AG Does Not Get to Add Words to Laws

In a recent opinion Attorney General W.A. Drew Edmondson seeks to single handedly change the meaning of Oklahoma residency.

Initiative Petition Process is Vital to Good Government, AG Says
12/14/2005

Attorney General Drew Edmondson today said anyone circulating or signing initiative petitions should be aware of state laws governing the process, and he warned Oklahomans that signatures collected illegally are invalid. Edmondson issued the warning today after the recent arrest of a petition worker.

Edmondson said the initiative petition process is vital to good government, but it must be conducted in a manner that lawfully protects those seeking signatures and those who chose to support it.

According to Edmondson, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that signatures gathered by an unqualified person are invalid.

“In the cockfighting case, the court disqualified more than 4,000 signatures taken by one circulator because he was not a qualified elector,” Edmondson said. “It’s incumbent upon those who organize initiative petition drives to staff their operation with qualified workers so citizens can exercise their right to petition their government without fear that their voice will be stricken.

“It is vital in a democracy that those who speak out, either for or against a particular issue, are heard,” Edmondson said.

According to the Oklahoma Constitution, anyone circulating an initiative petition must be a qualified elector - meaning 18 years of age and a bona fide resident of the state.

“This area of law is complex, but it boils down to a question of permanent residency,” Edmondson said. “Is the individual here in an established home or just to do a job before moving on? Crossing the state line and sleeping in a hotel for a few nights or a few weeks does not make a person a permanent resident.”

Edmondson said anyone who is working to gather signatures needs to know these requirements so that they can perform the job within the confines of the law. Failing to meet the criteria set forth in the Constitution is a misdemeanor and punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in the county jail.

A swing and a miss for AG Edmondson! There is no time requirement to establish residency in Oklahoma. There is no mention of the word permanent in the statute that defines what an eligible. It is ridiculous to claim that someone has to have permanent residency. Permanency implies that the individual will never leave Oklahoma. If that were the case, nobody could vote here. Ever.

Follow the law as it is written not what you'd like it to be.

Comments:
Are you saying spending any length of time within the state makes one a 'resident?'
 
You're totally wrong and you are promiting a bad policy whereby carpetbaggers can come in and dupe Okies, putting alien issues on the Oklahoma ballot, which we then have to pay for the elections on. It is nonsense to argue that outsiders should be able to put ballot questions on in Oklahoma. Go back to where you came from and exercise your civic rights in a state where you have to live with the outcome.
 
You're totally wrong and you are promoting a bad policy whereby carpetbaggers can come in and dupe Okies, putting alien issues on the Oklahoma ballot, which we then have to pay for the elections on. It is nonsense to argue that outsiders should be able to put ballot questions on in Oklahoma. Go back to where you came from and exercise your civic rights in a state where you have to live with the outcome.
 
PS- I have not given you permission to quote me in an earlier blog, and I hereby demand that you remove quotations by me from your website. At Demookie, I have the ability to edit my posts and they belong to me. On your blogspot, you have used my writing without paying me and without seeking my permission.

I have also noticed that you have revealed the identities of others.
 
Oh it's getting late but I suppose I've got enough in me to right some wrongs.

The law does not define a resident and thus a qualified voter with a time limit. Read the statute, that's what it says. Please try and prove me wrong. Pleeeeeease. Not with opinion but with facts. SHOW me why I'm wrong. This is a direct challenge to your intellect.

Having more signature collector out in the field allows for MORE opportunity for Oklahomans to decide ON THEIR OWN if they want to sign or not. Fewer collectors will result in fewer opportunities for Oklahoma voters. Is this what you want? FEWER opportunities?!? How VERY democratic!

You are calling the Oklahomans who sign the TABOR petitions dupes. Is it possible that they just disagree with you? Is there not room for disagreement?!? Do you not see how insulting you are being to your fellow citizens?

I cannot remove your quotes from my blog as I do not know who you are. You have commented here anonymously.
 
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