The City of Tulsa is holding a special election this Tuesday, November 14, 2017. The ballot will consist of seven proposed amendments to the City Charter which were approved by the City Council over the course of the summer.
Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Early in-person absentee voting for residents of the Tulsa County will be available at the Tulsa County Election Board, 555 N. Denver Ave., just north of downtown Tulsa, from 8 am. to 6 p.m. Thursday, November 9, and Friday, November 10, plus from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 11. The Tulsa County Election Board has published an information sheet on the November 14, 2017, election.
In addition to the Tulsa special election, voters in House District 76 (northern part of Broken Arrow) have a special general election between Republican Ross Ford and Democrat Chris Van Landingham to fill the vacancy left by the death of State Rep. David Brumbaugh, and voters in Senate District 37 will choose a successor to Sen. Dan Newberry -- Republican Brian O'Hara, formerly Congressman Jim Bridenstine's Deputy District Director, faces 26-year-old Allison Ikley-Freeman. Bixby voters have a franchise renewal on the ballot, and Sand Springs has a city bond issue.
Here is a summary of the seven City of Tulsa ballot items, with links to details of the charter language to be changed and my analysis.
- Summary nuisance abatement: YES
- Electronic notice to councilors of Special Meeting: YES
- Sloppily written amendment intended to allow emergency clause on resolutions: NO
- City general election to be moved to August: NO
- Mayor appoints Election District Commission: NO
- Permit political activities by civil service employees and sworn public safety officers: NO
- Ineffective attempt to constrain funds generated by public safety tax: NO
As a supplement to my commentary on Prop 4, I have written a timeline of the changes Tulsa has made to its election process. Five changes were made in the six-year period between 2006 and 2012.
For your convenience, here is a single-page summary of Tulsa_2017_City_Charter_Recommendations.pdf
For the sixth time since 2006, we will be tinkering with election dates. Two other proposals would have an impact on elections -- the composition of the Election District Commission and allowing city employees under civil service protection to participate in political activity.
An election resolution for the first five of the proposed amendments was approved by the City Council on July 12, 2017, and approved by Mayor G. T. Bynum IV on July 17, 2017. Resolutions sending the sixth and seventh proposed amendments to the voters were approved on August 16, 2017.