In the wake of the election, changes are being made in Oklahoma after residents voted on the seven State Questions included on the ballot. Out of the seven Questions, four were approved and will be added as new sections in the Oklahoma Constitution.
The approved State Questions — 776, 780, 781 and 792 — dealt with the death penalty, drug and property crimes and beer and wine laws, while the defeated questions — 777, 778 and 790 — dealt with agriculture, taxes and religion.
Oklahoma residents showed up early to the polls to cast their votes in the election. According to NewsOK, Oklahoma voters broke the 2008 in-person early voting record of 114,368 votes by more than 152,600 votes.
State Question 776 declares all means of acceptable unless otherwise stated by the United States Constitution and does not identify them as cruel and unusual punishment. Out of more than one million voters, 66.36 percent voted “yes” on the question and the measure will take effect immediately.
State Question 780 was aimed to reclassify drug and property crimes as misdemeanors and was paired with State Question 781, which was designed to redistribute the money saved by implementing Question 780 to fund rehabilitation centers for criminals. About 1.5 million people voted for each measure and 780 passed with 58.23 percent and 781 with 56.22 percent. Both measures will take effect July 1, 2017.
State Question 792 dealt with changing the current laws governing the sale of wine and beer in Oklahoma. This measure will repeal Article 28 of the Oklahoma Constitution and enact Article 28A. Out of almost 1.5 million voters, 65.62 percent voted “yes” and the measure go into effect Oct. 1, 2018.
State Question 777 would have given farmers and ranchers the right to make use of agricultural technology, livestock procedures and ranching practices, and would prohibit the government from passing laws against those rights in the future. Out of over one million voters, 60.29 percent voted “no” on the measure.
State Question 779 would have increased the sales tax by one percent and allocated the money raised by the one percent to fund public education. The measure would also have required a teacher salary increase by $5,000 in the year prior to the adoption of the measure. Over one million people voted on this measure and 59.4 percent voted “no.”
State Question 790 would have repealed the Blaine Amendment in the Oklahoma Constitution to allow the use of public money for religious purposes. Less than 1.5 million people voted for the measure and 57.12 percent voted “no.”