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May 22, 2013

1-cent tax vote not certified, Commissioners delay action until Tuesday

CLAREMORE —

Rogers County voters will have to wait until Tuesday to find out if the 1-cent Sales Tax election May 14 will be voided.
On Wednesday, Rogers County Commissioners met in executive session to discuss their options regarding a challenge that proper legal notice was not published for the election as required by state statute. Commissioners agreed to place the issue on Tuesday’s agenda and will decide whether or not to void the election and hold a new election.
On Tuesday, the Rogers County Election Board voted not to certify results of the election on advice from Assistant District Attorney David Iski.
Commissioner Kirt Thacker said he is planning to vote to void the election after meeting with Paul Johanning, outside legal counsel.
Johanning, his son John Johanning, Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley, Iski and the commissioners met in executive session for approximately 35 minutes to discuss the matter.
It was determined commissioners could not immediately vote to void the election because the agenda for the special meeting did not spell out any action by commissioners, according to Thacker.
Iski wrote the agenda, according to County Clerk Robin Anderson.
No public comments or questions were permitted during the meeting.
The decisions come after Claremore resident Myron Grubowski filed a complaint May 16 with the election board. His complaint contends there may have been voter suppression by the county not properly publishing a legal notice of the election in a county newspaper prior to the vote.
The Election Board chose not to certify the election until after the 10 a.m. May 28 court hearing before District Judge Dwayne Steidley, which may not be necessary if commissioners choose to void the election due to not properly publishing the legal notice.
Commissioners plan to meet and vote on the election prior to the hearing, according to Thacker.

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