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Due to signature-counting delays, Oklahoma Cannabis Legalization Question May Miss Ballot.

By Therin Miller | August 26, 2022

Despite achieving the signature requirement, Oklahoma voters may not be able to vote on adult-use cannabis legalization in November.

The state's new private vendor employed to verify and count signatures took too long to process the petition, according to KFOR. The Vote Yes on 802 Campaign had gathered 20,000 more signatures than the law required.

The deadline for printing ballots is August 26, and the Secretary of State's Office verified the signatures on Monday. However, Michelle Tilley of the campaign explained that "the count has to be certified by the court" and that a 10-day publication period in the newspaper is required, which "will all be completed just a few days" after Friday's deadline.

"Generally, it takes between five to seven days to count a petition of our size," she told KFOR. "For example, the Medicaid expansion petition, which had double the number of signatures as ours, took only 17 days."

The campaign has asked the Oklahoma State Supreme Court to intervene. They are requesting that the court allow ballots with the question printed on them to be made until the procedure is completed.

The legalization campaign claims in the complaint that "due to a new technological method developed and employed for the first time on this initiative. The Secretary's signature count took significantly longer than anyone had anticipated." "Instead of the parties' 2-3 weeks anticipation, the electronic signature verification and count - carried out by an inexperienced private vendor under a no-bid contract - lasted approximately 7 weeks."

The campaign cites the delay as "unexpected" and "inexplicable" in the lawsuit.


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