Backers of a statewide bond measure for school storm shelters are asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court for more time to gather signatures, and want the court to rewrite ballot language that has already been changed once.
David Slane, the attorney for Take Shelter Oklahoma, argued Wednesday before a court referee that state Attorney General Scott Pruitt acted with bias and without jurisdiction when he removed specific wording from the ballot title that “had the effect of causing confusion and hampering with our process.”
“The ballot title says the state bond money could be used by school districts to reduce local debt to buy shelters. Voters need to know, look local school districts could get reimbursed,” Slane said. “The attorney general fatally flawed his ballot title because he did not address that issue at all.”
Slane accused Pruitt of attempting to derail the effort in order to curry favor with the State Chamber members whose employees are campaign contributors to him.
Attorneys for Pruitt's office characterized the claims as “frivolous” and “unsupported by fact or law.”
Senior Assistant Attorney General Neal Leader told the referee his office responded in a “timely manner,” pointing out that the measure and the ballot title were filed with the secretary of state but not the attorney general.
“We looked at it and we determined that the proposed ballot title did not comply with the law,” Leader said. “And having made that determination, we notified secretary of state as required.”