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2016 Election Explainer

This resource is presented by the BGCO’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Committee, with research and writing assistance from the Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma.

Download a printer-friendly version here.

– Candidates – 

U.S. President

Three candidates for President of the United States will appear on the ballot in this order: Republican Party candidate Donald Trump and Vice-Presidential candidate Mike Pence; Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Vice-Presidential candidate Bill Weld; and Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice-Presidential candidate Tim Kaine. e Green Party candidate Jill Stein did not meet the requirements to be placed on the Oklahoma ballot for President and write-ins will not be counted.

U.S. Senate:

Incumbent Senator James Lankford (Republican) will face four challengers: Democrat Mike Workman, Libertarian Robert Murphy, and two Independents Sean Braddy and Mark Beard. Lankford was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 to fil the remaining two (2) years of retired Sen. Tom Coburn’s seat. is 2016 election will be for a full six (6) year term in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. House of Representatives,

District 1:

Incumbent Representative Jim Bridenstine (Republican) will face Independent David Matthew Hullum. Bridenstine was first elected to Congress in 2012. District 1 covers parts of the northeastern portion of Oklahoma including Tulsa.

U.S. House of Representatives,

District 2:

Incumbent Representative Markwayne Mullin (Republican) will face two challengers: Democrat Joshua Harris-Till and Independent John McCarthy. Mullin was first elected to Congress in 2012. District 2 covers a majority of the eastern portion of Oklahoma.

U.S. House of Representatives,

District 3:

Incumbent Representative Frank Lucas (Republican) will face Democrat Frankie Robbins. Lucas was rst elected to Congress in 1994. District 3 covers a majority of western Oklahoma including the panhandle and stretching east to cover most of north central Oklahoma.

U.S. House of Representatives,

District 4:

Incumbent Representative Tom Cole (Republican) will face two challengers: Democrat Christina Owen and Libertarian Sevier White. Cole was first elected to Congress in 2002. District

4 covers a majority of south central Oklahoma including southwest portions of the state.

U.S. House of Representatives,

District 5:

Incumbent Representative Steve Russell (Republican) will face two challengers: Democrat Al McAffrey and Libertarian Zachary Knight. Russell was rst elected to Congress in 2014. District 5 covers the majority of Oklahoma County including Oklahoma City and east to Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.

Note: For information on state legislative races, visit the Oklahoma State Election Board website at www.ok.gov/elections . In addition, the State Election Board has an Online Voter Tool which can produce a sample ballot for registered voters. Visit: www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Online_Voter_Tool/

– State Questions –

State Question 776 relates to the Death Penalty in Oklahoma. A “yes” vote on SQ 776 gives the Oklahoma Legislature clear authority to set methods for execution unless prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.

State Question 777 relates to city, county or state legislation concerning farming, ranching and agriculture. A “yes” vote on SQ 777 will increase the ability of state courts to strike down state legislation and local city/county ordinances related to farming, ranching, and agriculture.

State Question 779 relates to increasing the state sales tax by one cent. A “yes” vote on SQ 779 will cause the state sales tax to increase by one cent per dollar. The increased funding will be distributed only for public education as follows: 69.5% to public school districts, 19.25% to higher education, 3.25% for Career Tech and 8% to the State Department of Education.

State Questions 780 and 781 relates to adjusting criminal sentencing and increasing rehabilitation services. A “yes” vote on SQ 780 will revise certain crimes to misdemeanors instead of felonies. The new misdemeanor crimes will include property crimes under $1,000 and simple possession of drugs. Current felonies such as distribution, possession with intent to distribute, transportation with intent to distribute, manufacture, or trafficking of drugs will not be changed by SQ 780. A “yes” vote on SQ 781 will send revenue to counties only for the purpose of funding rehabilitation programs including mental health and drug treatment in localities. The funding will be generated from the cost savings from reducing prison overcrowding in SQ 780. SQ 781 will only go into effect if SQ 780 passes.

State Question 790 relates to faith-based institutions. A “yes” vote on SQ 790 will repeal Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution also known as the Blaine Amendment. The Blaine Amendment is a broad restriction against government funding of religion which could be interpreted by a court to include faith-based day care, education, and medical services. If the Blaine Amendment is repealed, state government would still have to comply with the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment Establishment Clause which protects against government forcing religion on to the people.

State Question 792 relates to the sale of alcoholic beverages. A “yes” vote on SQ 792 will change current alcohol sale laws to allow retail locations like grocery stores to sell wine and strong beer while allowing liquor stores to sell chilled wine and strong beer. SQ 792 will also allow limited shipments of wine from out of state to residents that are at least 21 years old.

– Judiciary –

Justices on the ballot to either be retained or removed from the Oklahoma Supreme Court:

Justice James R. Winchester stands for retention to the Oklahoma Supreme Court after first being appointed to the court on January 4, 2000 by Governor Frank Keating. Justice Douglas L. Combs stands for retention to the Oklahoma Supreme Court after first being appointed to the court on January 1, 2010 by Governor Brad Henry.

To learn more about the background of the justices from the Oklahoma Supreme Court website, visit here www.oscn.net/oscn/schome/justices.htm and click on their names.

Pastors, Churches, & Politics

For pastors and church leaders:

No matter where you place yourself on the wide spectrum of Christian belief and practice, Christian leaders are often burdened by issues at the intersection of faith and politics. Navigating the treacherous waters of socio-political, legislative, and tax-exemption questions on a regular basis can be overwhelming as you try to lead your congregation in biblical truth. Alliance Defending Freedom created this free legal resource for Christian leaders like you, not to tell you what you should or should not do, but to give you as much information as possible about the legal parameters in this area, so that you can shepherd your flock and protect your ministry effectively.

Visit here to download a free copy!

Staff

Author: Staff

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