OkieLegacy Centennial Moment
On March 29, 1907 northwest Oklahoma Territory citizens were reading in The Alva Pioneer, Alva, O.T., Woods County, newspaper, the full text of the Oklahoma constitution that was submitted to the editing committee before the convention adjourned for recess.
This is what the April 27, 1907 edition of the Alva Pioneer ran to keep the northwest citizens updated on the constitutional convention as the delegates were re-assembling to complete their labor and sign the constitution.
Guthrie, O. T., April 15, 1907 -- "The constitutional convention will draft a new election ordinance and appoint the election officers in the new counties of Indian Territory and Oklahoma. This was decided upon by the convention at the opening session. On motion of R. I. Williams of Durant, a committee of lawyers was appointed to prepare the new election ordinance as follows:
The article goes on to say, "The committee will obey the order of the court and frame the ordinance to comply with its mandates. The new ordinance will abolish the supreme election board. Each member of the committee has been assigned a number of counties for which he is to suggest the names of the election officers. Acting on these suggestions the convention will subdivide the new counties of Oklahoma and Indian Territory into commissioners' districts and municipal townships. It will then appoint three commissioners in old counties and will appoint a county clerk in each county. These will perform the same duties as the present county commissioners and county clerks under the Oklahoam election laws. In divided Oklahoma counties the present county boards and clerks will act as election officers in the portion of
the old county containing the original name and county seat."
"C. N. Haskell stated that he understood that the mandatory primary provision, which was to become a permanent part of the constitution, had not been finally passed. The clerk of the convention informed him that the provision had never been presented to the engrossing committee for engrossment. On motion of Haskell the engrossing
committee was instructed to bring it in ready for third reading and final passage tomorrow.
"Several attempts were made to reopen the county boundaries fight but met with ill success. Ottawa county presented a petition asking to have its boundaries extended south to conform with the Sequoyah map. A petition from Beckham county asked that the reported change taking some territory out of that county and adding it to Roger Mills be not made. President Murray referred it to the committee on rules.
That the convention will make few changes in the text of the constitution except to correct erros was made evident this afternoon when the convention tabled by a overwhelming vote a motion to increase the levy for school purposes from 5 to 20 mills to conform with the present Oklahoma law. Sandlin, who made the motion, declared that there is universal dissatisfaction in Western Oklahoma with the low school tax levy that may be raised under the constitution. Rose and other delegates pointed out that by the provision assessing property at its full value the 5 per
cent will be equal to at least 18 per cent, as property under the Oklahoma law is now assessed at only about one-fourth its real value."
Guthrie, O.T., April 18, 1907 -- The convention today repealed the old election ordinance creating a supreme election board to canvass returns and adopted an ordinance which complies with Judge Burford's decision and adopts the Oklahoma election law making the territorial governor and one member from each of the two
prinicpal political parties, named by the state chairman, a board of election commissioners to pass on certificates of nomination, print and distribute ballots.
In Osage county and new counties of Indian Territory and Oklahoma not bearing the old name, provisions are made for the appointment of a county clerk to perform the duties of a like officer under the Oklahoma laws. This county clerk and one member from each of the two prinicpal political parties, nominated by the county chairmen, constitute a county board of election commissioners to perform the duties in the new counties of election commissioner under the territorial law.
Provision is also made in all the new counties for the appointment by the convention of a board of county commissioners to establish voting places and election precincts and appoint inspectors of election in each precinct.
The territorial election board is continued in force for the purpose of canvassing the returns for state and district officers, members of the legislature and representatives to congress. The board to canvass returns of the constitutional election is prescribed in the enabling act. The Governor issues a proclamation calling the election. In all old counties the regular county clerk and county commissioners perform the election duties.
The report of the committee voers approximately 350 typewritten pages and is almost as long as the constitution.
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