All six state questions drew strong support from Oklahoma voters and were headed for approval Tuesday night.
A proposal to abolish the governing commission of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services was among the most closely watched state questions.
With 1,276 of 1,960 precincts reporting, 59.4 percent of voters supported State Question 765, which would abolish the DHS commission.
The state question was presented to voters as part of a legislative effort to reform an agency repeatedly stung by criticism for its failure to prevent the deaths of abused and neglected children after they have come into state custody.
If voters abolish the commission, it would be replaced by a system where the governor would appoint the agency's director and four citizen advisory panels would be created to oversee DHS operations and administration.
Early returns on other state questions showed a majority of Oklahomans were:
• Favoring State Question 762, which would remove the governor from the parole process for persons convicted of certain nonviolent offenses. The vote was 58.8 percent for and 41.2 percent against the proposal.
• Approving State Question 766, which would exempt all intangible personal property from ad valorem property taxation. The vote was 64.4 percent for and 35.6 percent against the proposal.
• Favoring State Question 759, which would prohibit affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment based on race, color, gender, ethnicity and national origin, with certain limited exceptions. The vote was 59.4 percent for and 40.6 percent against the proposal.
• Supporting State Question 758, which would limit property tax increases by placing a 3 percent annual cap on the amount county assessors can raise appraisals on agricultural land and owner-occupied homes with homestead exemptions. The vote was 68.1 percent for and 31.9 percent against the proposal.
• Approving State Question 764, which would authorize the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to issue bonds to finance a reserve fund for water resource and sewage treatment funding programs. The vote was 56.2 percent for and 43.8 percent against the proposal.
Fred Morgan, president of the State Chamber of Oklahoma, which backed proposals to eliminate the intangibles tax and allow the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to issue bonds, said passage of both state questions should help both businesses and individuals in the state.
“We're very pleased,” he said. “Both of these are very important to the business community, but also to the people in general.”
State Rep. David Dank, House author of the state question to reduce the cap on annual property tax increases from 5 to 3 percent, said he was pleased with early election results.
“I am grateful to the voters of Oklahoma for their strong approval of this measure at the polls,” said Dank, R-Oklahoma City. “They understood clearly that this was sensible tax restraint, not a tax cut that would harm schools, counties or libraries. A recent report by the Tax Foundation listed Oklahoma as the eighth fastest growing state for property taxes, and the passage of 758 will slow that growth while maintaining adequate revenues.”
Dank said the vote is especially important to seniors and others on fixed or limited incomes.