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Tulsa World editorial: Sen. Nathan Dahm's Senate Bill 33 could make presidential elections meaningless in Oklahoma

Tulsa World editorial: Sen. Nathan Dahm's Senate Bill 33 could make presidential elections meaningless in Oklahoma

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State Sen. Nathan Dahm speaks in 2018. His Senate Bill 33 would convene a special legislative session shortly after each presidential election. Lawmakers would approve a list of Electoral College delegates for the state. As proposed, the measure proposal would not require electors to honor the plurality or majority choice of Oklahoma voters unless Congress approves election reform with specific changes. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

State Sen. Nathan Dahm has proposed potentially taking the power of presidential elections away from Oklahoma voters unless Congress passes a national voter ID mandate.

It’s an arrogant proposal that should be ignored by state Senate leaders and Congress.

This is one of a series of bad election ideas proposed recently by Dahm.

The measure would stay in effect unless Congress enacts election reform measures, including national voter ID and paper ballot mandates.

A companion proposal, Senate Bill 32, authored by Sen. David Bullard and co-authored by Dahm, would require an oath of Oklahoma’s Electoral College members saying they would only vote according to Oklahoma election results “or otherwise directed by the Legislature.” While described as a way to prevent state participation in a direct national popular election of presidents, the last clause also raises the potential of ending any voice of Oklahoma voters in the process.

The other ideas suggested by Dahm (some in conjunction with Bullard) weren’t any better.

One Dahm proposal would prohibit any members of the Electoral College in the state from casting a ballot for any candidate for president or vice president if either candidate does not meet the qualifications of a natural-born citizen as required by the Constitution. Let’s call that what it is: Pointless red-meat propaganda designed to prevent what has never happened.

Another proposal — Senate Bill 34 — would require the Secretary of the State Election Board to complete an audit of random election results in at least three counties to verify that the paper ballots match the electronic results. The unfunded mandate would apply to every school board election, municipal election, primary election, run-off election and general election.

Dahm and Bullard don’t like the outcome of the 2020 election, so they’re attacking confidence in the nation’s election system.

That’s ugly, undemocratic and unAmerican. Having benefited from American democracy, they’re now trying to tear it down.


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If approved, SB 838 would allow cities to fund some police, fire or emergency medical services costs with a property tax of up to 5 mills. That would leave the municipal sales tax revenue to fund any remainder of public safety costs and other city services, such as parks, public transportation and animal welfare. It also would allow the city to try more innovative public service efforts, such increased availability of mental health crisis teams.

Best known to the public for his four years in Congress from eastern Oklahoma's 2nd District, Carson has legitimate academic credentials. He grew up in Jenks, earned his bachelor's degree at Baylor University with Phi Beta Kappa honors, attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently on the faculty at the University of Virginia, teaching courses in national security and the public sector.

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