Oklahoma voter ID measure challenged

A lawsuit claims State Question 746 interferes with Oklahomans' voting rights. It is the third challenge to a state question approved by voters earlier this month.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: November 17, 2010 at 6:22 am •  Published: November 17, 2010
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“If they get to the polls and have absolutely no identification, they will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot (which will be checked later and counted if verified),” he said. “It costs no citizen any money, and they won't be turned away from the polls.

“My frustration is individuals that are opposed to this keep talking about it as an impediment and it will disenfranchise groups, but the way we've crafted it, it truly does not.”

The lawsuit names Gov. Brad Henry as the sole defendant.

Henry's office declined to comment, but Henry in 2009 vetoed a similar bill authored by Ford; the senator and others came back this year with a resolution that put the matter before voters.

Henry, in his veto message, called the right to vote “among our most precious freedoms” and that Oklahoma has a model state election system.

“It is not in the best interest of the election system or Oklahoma citizens for the Legislature to enact new participation requirements for registered voters and additional and potentially confusing verification duties for election workers that could cause undue delays and longer waiting lines at the polls, potentially discouraging even more citizens from voting,” Henry wrote in his veto message.

Other measures

challenged

Thomas last week filed a lawsuit in Tulsa County District Court on SQ 751, which requires with a few exceptions that official state actions be conducted only in English.

He claims the measure, which took effect last week, infringes on free speech and violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the free speech clause of the state's constitution.

A federal lawsuit was filed earlier this month in Oklahoma City challenging enforcement of SQ 755, which would prohibit Oklahoma courts from considering international law or Shariah law.

A judge last week blocked that measure pending further hearings.

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