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Oklahoma's ballot measures draw support in early returns

All six state questions drew strong support from Oklahoma voters and were headed for approval Tuesday night.
by Randy Ellis Modified: November 7, 2012 at 12:01 am •  Published: November 6, 2012

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.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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