Claremore Daily Progress

Oologah/Talala

September 12, 2013

Grand Jury supporters gathering signatures

CLAREMORE —

Grand Jury petition organizers are in the second week of collecting signatures and are one-third of the way to reaching their goal.
Organizers are trying to insure the petition exceeds signature requirements as determined by the Oklahoma State Statutes,  said Steve Cox, petition signer and group spokesman. 
“The majority of our signatures come from people stopping in at the headquarters [located at 649 Ramm Road in Claremore] or at one of our drive-through locations,” Cox said.  “We are not actively soliciting the signatures. People are coming to find us.” 
The statutes require a maximum of 5,000 signatures to convene a grand jury, but organizers are looking to double that amount. 
Rogers County Election Board Secretary Julie Dermody has stated 4,487 signatures of current registered voters will be necessary to certify the petition.
Those numbers reflect 16 percent of the total amount of voters who voted in the last governor’s election, according to Dermody.
Dermody said her office is responsible for verifying the signatures.
People signing the petition need to remember to put the correct information, including their printed name, address and signature, according to Cox.
Rogers County Commissioner Kirt Thacker signed the petition last week, but did not list his complete address.
Thacker did list his address as Inola and Dermody said his signature will still count for the petition, but people need to include as much information as possible.
The information should match as closely as possible to their voter registration, according to Dermody. 
Organizers know it is likely several of the signatures will be counted as invalid during the process and so they plan to exceed the requirements.
“I want to turn in so many signatures the message will come through to our government that the people of Rogers County want accountability,” Cox said. “A grand jury is designed to find the truth. If you support the items listed in the petition or even if you don’t, you can still know your signature is a show of support for the process not just the allegations.”

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