Oklahoma votes on November 6th, 2018. Besides voting for a new Governor and several other state offices, Oklahoma voters will decide five state questions on subjects ranging from optometry to school funding. To help you make informed choices on these state questions, we’ve compiled the following information and summary of arguments made of both supporters and opponents. This is one of the easiest ways for you to get up to speed on issues before election day.
All of Oklahoma’s executive officers are up for election as well as the five seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, half of the 48 seats in the Oklahoma Senate and all 101 seats in the Oklahoma House, and five offices in each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties.
To download a sample ballot for your district just follow these steps:
- Go to Voter Search Tool
- Registered voters need to enter their first name, last name and date of birth.
- It’s that easy
Polls are open from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm on November 6th!
Oklahoma State Questions
State Question 793: Allow Optometrists & Opticians to Operate in Retail Stores
State Question 793 would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to allow optometrists and opticians to operate within retail establishments.
This measure adds a new Section 3 to Article 20 of the Oklahoma Constitution. Under the new Section, no law shall infringe on optometrists’ or opticians’ ability to practice within a retail mercantile establishment, discriminate against optometrists or opticians based on the location of their practice, or require external entrances for optometric offices within retail mercantile establishments. No law shall infringe on retail mercantile establishments’ ability to sell prescription optical goods and services. The Section allows the Legislature to restrict optometrists from performing surgeries within retail mercantile establishments, limit number of locations at which an optometrist may practice, maintain optometric licensing requirements, require optometric offices to be in a separate room of a retail mercantile establishment, and impose health and safety standards. It does not prohibit optometrists and opticians from agreeing with retail mercantile establishments to limit their practice. Laws conflicting with this Section are void. The Section defines ‘laws,’ ‘optometrist,’ ‘optician,’ ‘optical goods and services,’ and ‘retail mercantile establishment.’
For More Information
- Oklahoma State Question 793, Right of Optometrists and Opticians to Practice in Retail Establishments Initiative via Ballotpedia
- State Question 793 Fact Sheet via OK Policy
- Yes On 793 PAC website
- Oklahomans Against SQ 793 PAC website
- Optometry Laws of Oklahoma
- Fact Check: Is Oklahoma Unlike 47 Other States When It Comes to Optometry? via No793
State Question 794: Marsy’s Law Crime Victim Rights Amendment
State Question 794 known as Marsy’s Law, would add several new rights for crime victims to the Oklahoma Constitution.
This measure amends the provision of the Oklahoma Constitution that guarantees certain rights for crime victims. These rights would now be protected in a manner equal to the defendant’s rights. The measure would also make changes to victims’ rights, including
(1) expanding the court proceedings at which a victim has the right to be heard;
(2) adding a right to reasonable protection;
(3) adding a right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay;
(4) adding a right to talk with the prosecutor; and
(5) allowing victims to refuse interview requests from the defendant’s attorney without a subpoena.
The Oklahoma Constitution currently grants victims’ rights to crime victims and their family members. This measure would instead grant these rights to crime victims and those directly harmed by the crime. Victims would no longer have a constitutional right to know the defendant’s location following arrest, during prosecution, and while sentenced to confinement or probation, but would have the right to be notified of the defendant’s release or escape from custody.
Under this measure, victims would have these rights in both adult and juvenile proceedings. Victims would be able to assert these rights in court and the court would be required to act promptly.
For More Information
- Oklahoma State Question 794, Marsy’s Law Crime Victim Rights Amendment via Ballotpedia
- State Question 794 Fact Sheet via OK Policy
- Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma SQ 794 PAC website
- Existing Oklahoma Victims Bill of Rights
State Question 798: Governor and Lieutenant Governor Joint Ticket
State Question 798 would amend the state constitution to require the governor and lieutenant governor to run together on one ticket beginning in 2026.
This measure will add a provision to the Oklahoma Constitution to change the manner in which the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are elected. Currently, voters cast one vote for their preferred candidate for Governor and a separate vote for their preferred candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Under this measure, if approved, candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor from the same party will run together on a single ticket and voters will cast one vote for their preferred ticket.
The measure requires the Legislature to establish procedures for the joint nomination and election of candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. If passed, this new election format will be used beginning in the 2026 general election cycle.
For More Information
- State Question 798 Fact Sheet via OK Policy
- Oklahoma State Question 798, Governor and Lieutenant Governor Joint Ticket Amendment via Ballotpedia
- Methods of Election via NLGA
State Question 800: New Reserve Fund for Oil and Gas Revenue
State Question 800 would amend the state constitution to require 5% of the collections from the gross production tax on oil and gas to be deposited in a trust fund known as the Oklahoma Vision fund.
This measure would add a provision to the Oklahoma Constitution creating a new trust fund. This fund would consist of (i) legislative appropriations, (ii) deposits from other sources, and (iii) investment income. Beginning July 1, 2020, 5% of revenues from the gross production tax on oil and gas will be deposited into the fund as well. The percentage of gross production tax revenues deposited into the fund will then increase by 0.2% per year.
Monies in the fund will be invested by the State Treasurer. The fund is exempt from constitutional restrictions on the State owning stock. The State Treasurer is required to make prudent investment decisions and diversify the fund’s investments to minimize risk.
After July 1, 2020, 4% of the fund’s principal will be deposited each year into the State’s General Revenue Fund. Principal will be calculated by using an average of the fund’s annual principal for the five years before the deposit. No more than 5% of the Fund may be used to pay interest on bonds issued by the State or local governments. The fund will be called the Oklahoma Vision Fund.
For More Information
- State Question 800 Fact Sheet via OK Policy
- State Question 800: Oil and Gas Development Tax Revenue Investment Fund Amendment via Ballotpedia
State Question 801: Allow Building Fund Revenue for School Operations
State Question 801 would amend the Oklahoma State Constitution by removing restrictions on how school districts may use some property tax dollars.
This measure would provide a means for voters to allow school districts to expand the permissible uses of ad valorem tax revenues to include school operations.
The Oklahoma Constitution limits the rate of ad valorem taxation. However, it permits voters in a school district to approve an increase of up to five mills ($5.00 per $1,000.00 of the assessed value of taxable property) over this limit for the purpose of raising money for a school district building fund.
Currently, monies from this building fund may only be used to build, repair, or remodel school buildings and purchase furniture. This measure would amend the Constitution to permit voters to approve such a tax to be used for school operations deemed necessary by the school district, in addition to the purposes listed above.
For More Information
- State Question 801 Fact Sheet via OK Policy
- State Question 801: Allow Certain Voter-Approved Property Taxes to Fund School District Operations Amendment via Ballotpedia
For more information on State Questions from the Secretary of State visit https://www.sos.ok.gov/gov/questions.aspx.
Oklahoma is one of 39 states where voters have a role in selecting judges. On the ballot this midterm election, Oklahoma voters will decide whether to retain four Supreme Court justices, three Court of Criminal Appeals judges, and five Court of Civil Appeals judges.
To learn more about retention ballots and who is on the ballot this election, visit https://courtfacts.org/retentionballot/.
- Last day to register to vote: October 12
- Deadline to request absentee ballot: October 31, 5pm
- Early voting: November 1 8am-6pm, November 2 8am-6pm, & November 3 9am-2pm at your county election board [PDF list of county election boards]
- Election day: November 6, polls open 7:00 am – 7:00 pm. Find your polling place here.
Let your voice be heard! Oklahoma Votes Tuesday, November 6th, 2018.