OTHER than the presidential race in Oklahoma, which the Democrats have all but conceded, not much is on offer to generate excitement in November.
Not much, but some. Outside of eastern Oklahoma, where an open congressional seat is in play, an array of state questions may be the most contentious thing on the ballot.
No statewide offices will be up for grabs. Many of the most contested legislative and county races will be decided in political party primaries and runoffs this summer. As for the presidential race, the only thing of interest is whether the Democratic nominee will manage to win at least one county, which hasn't happened for 12 years.
Left to debate, then, are the state questions — a six-pack of issues ranging from the mundane (a financing scheme for water and sewer facilities) to the sexy (capping property tax increases) to the spicy (prohibiting reverse discrimination). That “only” six state questions are slated for the ballot is itself notable. In 2010 the number was 11. In 2004, nine referenda were on the ballot.
Making news already is State Question 765, which would abolish the Human Services Commission and give the governor more authority over operations of the Department of Human Services. This constitutional change would be antithetical to the state constitution itself, which deliberately and excessively weakened the governor's office.
What will definitely make news in coming months is SQ 759. It would restrict affirmative action programs by government entities, with some exceptions. Reverse discrimination is bad form, especially when taxpayer funds are involved. SQ 759 opponents will portray the measure as racist. It's not and should pass handily, as have similar measures in states that are more liberal than Oklahoma.
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