Typically, you wouldn’t think stoners to be responsible enough to carry out their American duty to vote, let alone apply a pair of pants that do not depict the Cookie Monster’s face. However, according to NewsOK, the idea of marijuana availability may actually be motivating some Oklahomans for once. And not just motiving them to get another plate of Totino’s pizza rolls from the microwave.
To vote for medical marijuana, a party’s pick for gubernatorial nominee or myriad new state lawmakers, Oklahomans must register to vote by June 1…
Data from the Oklahoma State Election Board show that twice as many people registered to vote during [January and May of this year] compared with four years ago, when the top of the ballot pitted incumbent Gov. Mary Fallin against Democratic challenger Joe Dorman. Between January and May of this year, there have been 43,212 new or returning voters logged in the state database.
Compare that with numbers from 2014, when a little more than 20,000 registrations were processed ahead of the primary election.
43,212 new voters?!? That’s about as many people who like the TLO Facebook page. Which is incidentally about 8,000 likes more popular than Mary Fallin’s page, but who’s counting. With as many new registries as we’ve seen this year, it surely means that the Oklahoma public is finally fed up with the politicians who’ve run this state into the ground and are ready to vote for one of them teacher people to lead us through the next 2-6 years, right?
One issue that could be driving the rush to register is medical marijuana.
No sh*t the turn out is due to the medical marijuana question. Now that we’ve settled that, let’s move on.
Chip Paul, who has led the organization that gathered enough signatures for medical marijuana to be on the ballot, said it’s been a long time coming and people are ready to make their decision…
Paul based his estimate on the turnout when Oklahomans approved liquor by the drink in 1984. That state question appeared alongside just one other item on the ballot for some voters — a runoff election to pick Republicans’ U.S. Senate nominee. More than 800,000 people went to the polls, compared with the presidential election two months later that drew 1.2 million.
I am kind of seeing a pattern here in Oklahoman voting habits. You pair any item on the ballot with something cool, like booze or weed, and it seems like people are more likely to turn out to vote. Maybe if we would have put on the ballot a ban on man buns or put in place a mandatory statewide taco celebration day in 2014, then we could’ve gotten enough voters to show up to the polls to have saved us from the second half of Fallin’s tenure.
His group, Oklahomans for Health, has actively registered voters during its campaign. Combine that with other groups’ efforts and a hotly contested gubernatorial race, and the surge seems inevitable.
“We’re registering as many voters as we can to get out and vote for this state question,” Paul said.
So whenever you show up to the polls, make sure your opinion on the medical marijuana question is heard. But remember, that’s not the only thing we’re voting on in June. So please do enough research to make an informed decision on the candidates for governor as well. Because with the eclectic mix of white dudes sprinkled across the ballot, it is easy to think you are voting for the tiger zoo operating white dude when you are actually voting for the racist white dude.