, Muskogee, OK


January 19, 2008

THE PEOPLE SPEAK: Petitioner indictments short democratic rights

As independent voters, we are concerned that the initiative and referendum process in Oklahoma is being threatened.

Three initiative leaders were brought up on criminal charges by the attorney general (Drew Edmondson) for hiring out-of-state petition carriers to help place an initiative on the ballot after they had been assured that it was legal. More than 300,000 Oklahomans signed the petition. However, the court ultimately ruled the initiative off the ballot, and it was never voted on.

Now almost a year later, the attorney general has indicted the three initiative leaders for “willfully violating” the state’s residency requirements.

His persecution of the initiative leaders is a blow to the democratic rights of Oklahoma citizens. It serves only to frighten and intimidate voters from exercising their constitutional rights to participate in the initiative process.

We urge you to call on the attorney general to drop this indictment and to defend our right to initiative and petition.

John Adair of Edmond and 46 other Oklahomans

Editor’s note: The above letter was sent to Gov. Brad Henry this month from a group called Oklahoma Independent Voters, Kim Wright of Altus, chair.

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