Evidence shows that more than 120,000 of the almost 300,000
signatures on petitions seeking a vote on a Taxpayer Bill of Rights
law are invalid and should be stricken, an attorney for TABOR
opponents told an Oklahoma Supreme Court referee Thursday.
Attorney Kent Meyers said that more than 50,000 signers were not
registered to vote when they signed the petition.
Meyers said several thousand other signatures are invalid because
the petition circulator who obtained them was not a state resident,
which is required by law.
In order to keep the TABOR petition off the ballot, opponents
must disqualify 79,466 signatures.
To be put to a vote of the people, a proposed constitutional
amendment must garner at least 219,564 valid voter signatures.
A TABOR law limits growth in state government spending to the
combined rates of inflation and population growth, with part of any
savings being rebated to taxpayers.
Meyers told referee Greg Albert that many circulators either
signed petition affidavits giving out-of-state addresses or listed
addresses and/or driver's licenses from other states when
registering at Oklahoma hotels.
Meyers pointed to examples of addresses in California,
Washington, Colorado, Missouri, Texas, Florida and other states.
He said others, whom he designated stealth circulators, were not
registered at any hotel.
We think that's an independent grounds for disqualification,
Meyers said thousands of signatures should be disqualified for
the following reasons:
* 1,700 due to out-of-state circulator addresses on petitions.
* 13,306 due to out-of-state addresses on hotel registries.
* 24,023 because circulators listed Oklahoma hotels as addresses,
but were not registered at the hotels.
* 8,857 due to out-of-state addresses in notary logs.
* 3,282 because of out-of-state IDs in notary logs.
* 17,162 due to out-of-state addresses on IRS 1099 forms.
* 7,267 due to invalid notarizations.
Meyers pointed to a Nov. 29, 2005, e-mail from Susan Johnson of
National Voter Outreach, the parent company of the petition
circulating group, referring to our Missouri crew and a Dec. 6,
2005, memo promising to have 62 pros in the state by Friday.
Johnson's memos were to Rick Carpenter, chairman of Oklahomans in
Action, which launched the TABOR drive, and other officials of the
Quoting from the deposition of Linda Howard, head of the Oklahoma
City signature drive, who estimated an 86-percent validity rate for
signatures, Meyers said this means NVO knowingly submitted 14
percent or almost 42,000 invalid signatures.
Attorney Kieran Maye Jr., appearing on behalf of TABOR
proponents, said protestants of an initiative petition need clear
and convincing evidence, a heavy standard, to boot signatures from a
Maye also said some of the protestants' points are the
hypertechnical arguments criticized a few years ago in an Oklahoma
Supreme Court decision on a petition to ban cockfighting.
Albert was the referee in the cockfighting signature challenge as
Maye also took aim at the protestants' contention that some
50,000 signers were not registered voters.
Maye listed several voters whose names he said differed somewhat
from the petition signers the protestants said they could not find
on registered voter lists. …