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House Panel OKs Changes to Okla. Petition Process (Apr 06, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A bill that would make it more difficult to gather enough signatures to place a question on the state ballot has narrowly cleared a House committee.

The House Rules Committee voted 7-6 Wednesday to ask voters to approve the change. If approved, the current requirements of 8 percent of voters who participated in the last gubernatorial election for a change of state law and 15 percent for a constitutional change would be required from each of the state's five congressional districts.

Republican State Rep. Leslie Osborn says the goal is to give rural voters a say when groups try to put an item on the ballot. But opponents say the plan would make it nearly impossible to get enough signatures from voters in sparsely populated rural areas.

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