Our state code subjects the municipal governments to the same initiative petition process that is a cornerstone of our state’s constitution. The initiative petition process is binding and effective to change the way city government operates, and even organizes.
§11-15-101. Initiative and Referendum - Powers.
The powers of initiative and referendum, reserved by the Oklahoma Constitution to the people, are reserved to the people of every municipal corporation with reference to all legislative authority which it may exercise and amendments to municipal charters.Laws 1977, c. 256, § 15-101, eff. July 1, 1978.
§11-15-102. Procedure for initiative and referendum in municipalities.
The procedure in municipalities which do not provide by ordinance or charter for the manner of exercising the initiative and referendum powers shall be governed by the Oklahoma Constitution and general state law, except as otherwise provided in Sections 15-101 through 15-110 of this title. The duties required of the Governor by state law shall be performed by the mayor; the duties of the Secretary of State shall be performed by the municipal clerk; and the duties of the Attorney General shall be performed by the attorney for the municipality. The procedure for initiative and referendum as to municipal legislation shall be as nearly as practicable the same as those for measures relating to the people of the state at large.Laws 1977, c. 256, § 15-102, eff. July 1, 1978.
§11-15-103. Petition - Form - Signatures - Time for filing.
A. The form of the petition for either initiative or referendum in a municipality shall be substantially as provided in Sections 1 and 2 of Title 34 of the Oklahoma Statutes. A true copy of each measure proposed by initiative and referendum shall be filed with the clerk of the municipality before it is circulated and signed by the registered voters.
B. Every petition for either the initiative or referendum shall be signed by a number of the registered voters residing in the municipality equal to at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the total number of votes cast at the preceding general election or biennial town meeting if the municipality is subject to the Oklahoma Town Meeting Act. The signatures to each petition shall be verified in the manner provided by law.
C. Signed copies of an initiative petition shall be submitted to the clerk within ninety (90) days after the initial filing of the measure with the clerk. Signed copies of a petition invoking a referendum upon any ordinance or resolution shall be submitted to the clerk within sixty (60) days after the passage of the ordinance or resolution. Amendments to municipal charters may be proposed by an initiative petition, and signed copies of such petition shall be submitted to the clerk not less than sixty (60) days before the election at which the amendments are to be voted upon.
Added by Laws 1977, c. 256, § 15-103, eff. July 1, 1978. Amended by Laws 1988, c. 105, § 18, eff. Nov. 1, 1988. Amended by Laws 2016, c. 41, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2016.