State Question 805

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel about the race in Congressional District Five where Republican challenger Stephanie Bice beat Incumbent Democrat Kendra Horn, and both State Question 805 to end sentence enhancements and 814, to take money from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust for Medicaid expansion failed to get enough votes to pass.

 

The trio also discusses other election results from Tuesday and Oklahoma voters breaks records in turnout.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Updated 12:37 a.m.

A record number of Oklahomans voted this year. More than 1.5 million Oklahomans cast ballots during the 2020 general election, beating 2016's number of about 1.4 million. Oklahoma also saw about an 175% increase in mail and absentee voting compared to 2016.

This summer's massive protests over police brutality, spurred by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, demanded significant changes in policing.

Those protests have moved some cities and states to "reimagine" what departments could look like through changes in funding and legislation. Some efforts stalled, like in Minneapolis where George Floyd was killed.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel about the outgoing Republican Oklahoma County Sheriff endorsing the Democratic candidate for the election to replace him, State Question 805 to remove sentence enhancements for nonviolent offenders and State Question 814 to take money from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust to give to lawmakers to pay for Medicaid expansion.

 

Our collaborative election project Oklahoma Engaged is not only focused on informative and in-depth radio stories. We also want to strip away extraneous information and get down to the bare bones of state questions on the November 3rd ballot.

MAIREAD TODD / KOSU

Oklahoma voters are being asked whether they want to change the state’s constitution to ban a method of increasing prison sentences for people convicted of nonviolent crimes. The measure is asking voters to take a deep look into Oklahoma’s sentencing laws.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about accusations against State Representative Terry O'Donnell who authored legislation which eventually allowed for his wife to take ownership of the Catoosa Tag Agency, a group forms to oppose State Question 805 to stop the use of sentence enhancements for non violent offenders and the state supreme court shoots down a recreational marijuana initiative petition.

 

facebook.com/yeson805

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that enough voter signatures were collected to put a question regarding sentence enhancements for nonviolent offenders on the ballot on November 3.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections said in a statement last week there are some flaws in an analysis that claims eliminating sentence enhancements for nonviolent crimes would reduce the prison population and save the state up to $186 million in 10 years.

Sentence enhancements are a tool that allows courts to increase the maximum range of punishment for defendants who have prior convictions.

Criminal justice reform activists believe a potential ballot question that calls for an end to rules that extend prison sentences for repeat offenders could reduce the state prison population by more than eight percent over time.

New analysis completed by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank, suggests the changes in State Question 805 would save the state up to $186 million over 10 years.

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