Are these signatures sufficient to double the Oklahoma beef checkoff?

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In order to bring the Oklahoma beef checkoff tax increase to a statewide referendum, the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) launched a petition drive in 2015. It took OCA nearly two years to collect their stated requirement of 5,100 signatures to bring the issue to a statewide vote this Fall. OCA cleared their stated signature requirement by only 77 signatures. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry verified all the submitted petition signatures without throwing a single one out.

Let’s look at a few of those petitions.

Many petitions do not include the required signature. This page alone has 13 with no signature.

These children are not old enough to even sign their names. Do they really have the capacity to vote for a tax increase on Oklahoma ranchers?

Out-of-state interests were allowed to sign the petition, even though the stated number of petitions required was based on the number of Oklahoma cattle operations. 11 Texans signed to tax Oklahomans on this page alone.

On this page, five signatures are missing the required “City.”

There are many examples of evident illegitimacy like this. Whatever happened to fair elections?

Cattle Producers: Vote No on November 1

Whether it is fair or not, producers must vote and must vote “No” in the statewide referendum to stop this checkoff increase. Only the votes of those voting will be counted, meaning if a producer does not vote, he/she will be helping the proposed increase to pass. The vote is to be held on November 1 at any Oklahoma county extension office during normal business hours. Mail-in ballots are available from October 2-20 by calling 405-235-4391 or emailing [email protected] and must be postmarked by October 27, 2017.

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