Claremore Daily Progress

May 20, 2013

Commissioners set Special Meeting to consider Road Tax vote validity

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

 

The Rogers County Commissioners set a special meeting for 1 p.m. Wednesday to determine if the May 14 One-Cent Sales tax vote should be rendered invalid.

The decision came under new business during the board’s Monday meeting as they briefly discussed the recent information that the election could be void, because no legal notice of the election was not properly published.

Commissioner Mike Helm requested the board seek outside legal counsel prior to the special meeting. No explanation for the request was provided at this time.

The commissioners supported Helm’s motion to host the special meeting and seek outside legal counsel.

The board will be discussing options including a judicial request to have the election nullified in order to present a new ballot to the voters.

Commissioner Kirt Thacker informed the board that a court hearing will be held on May 28 concerning a protest filed by Myron Grubowski.

Grubowski questioned the possibility of voter irregularity due to the lack of publication.

Rogers County Election Board Secretary Julie Dermody and the Oklahoma State Election Board determined that the protest was not valid due to the type of election that was held.

Only a recount can be requested on ballots that only contain questions and candidates are the only individuals authorized to file voter irregularity protests, according to Dermody.

Since the ballot contained no candidates no voter irregularity protest can be filed.

Grubowski’s protest is slightly different in presenting the publication  issue and although the election board is unable to review his concerns, the Rogers County District Attorney’s office has reviewed the issue.

The DA’s office has consulted with Grubowski scheduling the hearing with District Judge Dwayne Steidley, according to email correspondence Grubowski received from Assistant District Attorney David Iski. 

Thacker advised the board of this meeting then requested that they move forward prior to the hearing.

August 16 is the earliest date in which a new election could occur, however no date has been set at this time.

No costs associated with the hearing, hiring of outside legal counsel or another election have been presented at this time.

The board was questioned in Monday’s meeting about the costs associated and reason why outside counsel is being requested.

Additionally, the board was asked about the certification of the election and who was responsible for the publication of legal notices.

No response was given by the board.