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Lawmaker wants to give Oklahoma citizens recall power

By   /   February 21, 2012  /   News  /   3 Comments

Oklahoma would become the 20th state to allow citizens to petition for recall elections under an amendment proposed by Rep. Danny Morgan (D-Prague).  Morgan filed his amendment today to House Bill 2449 by Rep. Marty Quinn (R-Claremore) which deals with municipal elections.

Under Morgan’s amendment, “every elected officer of this state and any political subdivision thereof” will be eligible for a recall.  Those wanting to recall an elected official will have 90-days to gather signatures of registered voters totaling at least 15% of the number of voters in the most recent general election.  If a petition is successful, the recall election will feature two questions: shall the official be recalled and who shall replace the official?  Under the language of the amendment, the official being recalled cannot be on the list of replacements.

In an interview with Oklahoma Watchdog Editor Peter J. Rudy, Morgan said he’s heard from his constituents that they would like the ability to recall officials.  Morgan’s amendment does not have any parameters on how soon after an election a recall could be initiated nor any guidelines on how many recalls could be attempted against the same official.  When questioned about this, Morgan said, “I’m willing to make some changes to make sure it is so that we can control that because that really is a concern if you have just one group of militant individuals out there that they can circumvent the will of the majority of voters.” (see full interview with Morgan below)

Morgan says he understands there would be a cost associated with a recall – House fiscal staff says a statewide recall election could cost a million dollars – but that sometimes you have to pay that price, “if they are willing to go out and sign a petition, then they think it’s worth the expense.”

Two states that border Oklahoma (Colorado, Kansas) and another in the region (Louisiana) are among the 19 states with recall provisions according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The bill with the Morgan amendment could be heard on the House Floor as early as Wednesday.

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Peter formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • farmgirl

    I think this is great! Maybe elected officials will remember what they promised their voters. It’s a step in the right direction. Remember it’s by the PEOPLE for the PEOPLE. After all we live in a democracy not dictatoracy! Bravo Mr. Morgan.

  • Peter Gatliff

    Finally. Our so called elected leader care less about the working class Oklahomans. It’s all about taking care of the Heritage Foundation and ALEC’s agenda. In fact the KOCH Brothers are the defacto governors of Oklahoma. It was Dwight Eisehpwer that warned the American people about the far right Republicans. Eisenhower stated the fringe in his party want to destroy our social programs like SSI,Food Stamps, ban labor unions and destroy labor laws. He went on to say watch out of the texas oil men trying to take over our democracy.

  • Country Girl

    This needs to include school board members.