Bob Costas Asks Oklahomans to Change State’s ‘Offensive Name’

Okay, he hasn’t done it yet.  Based on his track record, however, I suspect NBC Sports’ Bob Costas might find the use of the word, Oklahoma, offensive to someone.  Who exactly?  Don’t worry; he’ll find someone.

Recently, the well-known sports broadcaster offered comments about the name of the National Football League’s Washington Redskins being “an insult, a slur” — comments that had nothing to do with the game of football.  Apparently, Costas could not control his insatiable desire to offer his unwanted political opinion during halftime of NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

I hope Costas doesn’t visit the nation’s 47th state anytime soon.  Why?  Because I was born and raised in the state known as the “Land of the Red Man” and do not find “Oklahoma” — the Choctaw Indian word for “Red People” — offensive.

A parting word of advice for Costas:  Stick to color commentary — unless, that is, you’re afraid that kind of commentary might offend people of color.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

News of Deadly Oklahoma Tornado Brings Back Memories

News of the deadly tornado that killed more than 51 at least 24 in Moore, Okla., Monday brought back memories of another painful episode in the book of Oklahoma living.

Before moving to the St. Louis area, my family called Norman, Okla., home.  Having grown up in the Sooner State before traveling the world as an Air Force couple, my wife and I knew — or thought we knew — what to expect.  We did not, however, expect what took place one evening 14 years ago.

Like most of our neighbors in northwest Norman, we lived in a typical three-bedroom home that did not have a basement or a safe room.  It may seem strange, but few homes in the state (a.k.a., “tornado alley”) had such amenities.  Everyone with a television set, however, did have legendary local weatherman Gary England.

On that memorable evening, I paid close attention to England’s reporting on dangerous storms traversing the state from the southwest to the northeast.  When he told television viewers to seek shelter underground immediately or face certain death, I made a critical decision; for the first time since moving to Norman three years earlier, I drove my wife and three young sons to an underground public shelter at a nearby elementary school.

Though the powerful F-5 tornado did not hit our home, it left a mile-wide path of destruction just a few miles north in Moore while packing the strongest surface winds ever recorded on earth — more than 200 miles per hour.

Television news reports during the days that followed featured video footage showing the tornado’s path stretching for miles and resembling what a giant vacuum cleaner might leave behind (i.e., nothing that resembled the homes and businesses that had been in the path of the tornado moments earlier).

All of that took place on May 3, 1999.  I’ll never forget it.  Today, my heart goes out to those impacted by the storms that hit central Oklahoma this week.

Pray for Okla

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Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Shall We Treat Women Like Broken Dinner Plates?

By Paul R. Hollrah, Guest Blogger

On Nov. 2, 2010, the people of Oklahoma were asked to decide a very important question.  They were asked to decide whether or not the state’s courts should be directed to rely solely on federal and state law, or whether other bodies of law… international law, laws of other nations, or Sharia law… could also be used.  State Question 755, amending Article 7, Section 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution, declared that, “The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures.  Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law.”

When all the votes were counted, 695,650 Oklahomans (70.08 percent) voted to live under existing federal and state law, while 296,944 voters (29.92 percent)… liberal Democrats, Muslims, deceased persons, and a few trouble-makers who sneaked across the border from Texas and Arkansas… voted to live under whatever legal code happened to be the “flavor of the day.”

Just two days later, on Nov. 4, local Muslims filed suit in federal court, seeking to block implementation of the measure.  The suit was filed by Muneer Awad (of the Oklahoma Awads), executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, who expressed the view that the people of Oklahoma had no right to decide the parameters of the constitution under which they live and that the amendment, approved by 70.08 percent of the Oklahoma electorate, was… unconstitutional.  Awad argued that the amendment tramples the “free exercise” rights of a disfavored minority faith (it does not), restricts the ability of he and his fellow Muslims to execute valid wills (it does not), and prohibits equal access to the judicial system (it does not).

The lawsuit further asserted that the Oklahoma amendment “undercuts a central concern of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, sending an unmistakable message that Muslims are religious and political outsiders.”  If Muslims are religious and political outsiders, as Awad suggests, there must be a reason.  Let’s look at the record.

On Nov. 15, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI called on all Muslim countries to protect Christians living among them.  He also called upon Christians and Muslims to show mutual respect toward each other.  Since that date, the Pope has issued numerous appeals for reciprocity, calling upon Muslims to respect the right of Christians to worship freely throughout the Muslim world, just as Muslims enjoy religious freedom in majority Christian nations.  So what impact has the Pope had on slowing the progress of Islamic jihad?

In a report published on Nov. 26, 2010, Khaled Abu Toameh described recent incidents of genocide against Middle East Christians.  The report tells us that, “Christians in Arab countries are no longer being persecuted; they are now being slaughtered and driven out of their homes and lands.”

On Christmas Day, 2011, a radical Islamist group calling itself Boko Haram… which translates to “Western education is a sin”… bombed a Christian church in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, killing 43 and injuring many more.  The Jewish World Review reports that a Boko Haram leader, Abdul Qaqa, gave Christians in northern Nigeria three days to pack up and leave the country.

In 2010, 52 Catholics were slaughtered at a church in Baghdad.  The Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk is quoted as saying that 57 Christian churches in Iraq have been attacked since 2003.  More than 900 Christians have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded.  In April 2011, 1,000 Christians were slaughtered by Muslim troops in Ivory Coast.  And in October 2011, in Egypt, 24 Coptic Christians were killed and more than 200 were wounded by radical Islamists.

These are but a few examples of the atrocities suffered by Christians in the Muslim world.  And while they represent an indescribable horror for those directly affected, they may also represent a long overdue and much needed wake-up call for the non-Muslim world if they help us to finally see Islam for what it is… and what it is not.  Hopefully, acts of genocide against Christians in Muslim nations will finally serve to convince westerners that Islam and Christianity cannot coexist, side-by-side, unless Christians yield to the demands of radical Islam.

Those who worry that restrictions on Sharia Law… such as Oklahoma SQ 755… may conflict with 1st Amendment rights, must understand that the 1st Amendment prohibits the “establishment of a religion.”  Islam is not a “religion” as we in the West understand the meaning of the term and it cannot be viewed as such.  It is far more than that; it is a social, political, legal, military, and economic system with a spiritual component.

As such, it is governed by and may come into conflict with Articles I, II, III, and IV of the U.S. Constitution, and at least 14 of the 27 amendments.  In fact, as an invading force that attempts to impose its 7th century values on an enlightened 21st century world, in any way possible, violent or non-violent, there is very little in Islam that would not conflict with the U.S. Constitution and its amendments.  Without its religious component, which Muslims conveniently hide behind when claiming 1st Amendment protections, Islam would be just another hate group, a foreign political insurgency that must be defeated, no matter what the cost.

We in the United States have developed social, political, and economic institutions that are the envy of the entire world, and Islam is the last place we would look for guidance in perfecting our Western civilization.  No help is wanted, or needed, thank you very much.

Like most Europeans of the post-World War II era, many Americans have succumbed to the fiction that Islam is a “religion of peace” and that worldwide jihad is merely a pipedream of the radical few.  However, the truth lies elsewhere.  As one Muslim caller to a radio talk show put it, “The liberal (peace-loving) Muslims are on the bus… but the crazies are driving the bus.”  Only when so-called “moderate” Muslims show a bit of courage by unmasking the radicals in their midst will any sort of accommodation be possible.  Until then, Muslims will increasingly be seen as a “disfavored minority faith,” as Mr. Awad refers to them.

In Islamic countries, Christians and Jews are prohibited from practicing their religion freely and openly.  Fair enough.  So I’ll pledge to accept their petty little demands on the same day that Christians, Jews, and everyone else are allowed complete religious freedom in all of the nations of the Islamic world, but not before.  The litmus test for Islam as a “religion of peace” will be the day when Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and all other non-Muslims are free to visit Mecca; and when churches, temples, and synagogues can be built throughout the Muslim world.  Until then, Islam must be viewed, not as the world’s largest religious denomination, but as a primitive alien culture that has not evolved appreciably beyond its seventh-century roots.

Complete reciprocity is the standard that must be met… nothing more, nothing less.

On Nov. 30, 2010, Federal District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange handed down a decision in the Oklahoma SQ 755 case, barring the Oklahoma State Election Board from certifying the results of the election until she could prepare a final ruling.

Because the people of Oklahoma have made “no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” the Awad suit is totally without merit.  To the contrary, the amendment approved on November 2 served only to reinforce the 1st Amendment in that, like it or not, it prohibits the “establishment of religion” for a small minority of Oklahoma citizens.  As might be expected, Judge Miles-LaGrange got it exactly backwards.  (Appointed to the bench by Bill Clinton in 1994, Judge Miles-LaGrange provides just one more horrible example of why we cannot trust Democrat presidents to appoint capable and competent judges to the federal bench.)

Finally, on Jan. 11, 2012, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver agreed with Judge Miles-LaGrange, upholding her injunction against the implementation of Oklahoma SQ 755.  The case now goes back to federal court in Oklahoma City for a decision on the question of constitutionality.

Depending on the outcome of the trial in Oklahoma City, and the anticipated appeal to the 10th Circuit, the people of Oklahoma may have to play the game a bit longer by appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.  But if by some chance a majority of justices would find some merit in the lower court decisions, striking down State Question 755, then it will become necessary for Oklahoma to stand on its 10th Amendment rights by engaging in nullification.  Governor Fallin and Attorney General Pruitt will have to inform the federal courts that the people of Oklahoma are sovereign and that they have spoken.  State Question 755 will become part of the Oklahoma constitution and it will be enforced, the opinion of the federal courts notwithstanding.

In a recent interview, a Muslim in Bahrain admitted to having shot his sister in the head four times because she had been forcibly raped.  Although she was the victim of a brutal assault, her violation had brought shame upon her family.  As the brother explained, in Islam, a woman who has been violated is much like a broken dinner plate that must be thrown away; she is no longer of any use and it’s best to discard her so that she can bring no further shame to the family.

It’s time that Mr. Awad and all of his Muslim friends understood that, in Oklahoma, all human lives are valued equally, regardless of gender, and that our women are not like “dinner plates.”  And if he and his CAIR associates don’t like the way we do things; if they refuse to recognize that Sharia law is incompatible with Oklahoma values, then we have a few suggestions for them… and we’ll give them more than three days to pack up and leave; we’ll give them at least a week.

Paul R. Hollrah

Hollrah is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a contributing editor for Family Security Matters and a number of online publications.  He resides in northeast Oklahoma.

SHAMELESS PLUG:  Be sure to check out Bob McCarty’s new book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.

Former Member of Electoral College Hopes to Change State Law to Prevent Repeat of Obama

Early this afternoon, I was one of many people who received an email from Paul R. Hollrah, a frequent guest blogger on this site.  In his message, Hollrah tackles misconceptions about the Electoral College based upon his experience as a member of that body on two occasions.  In addition, he shares details of how he hopes to bring about an amendment to the oath taken by presidential electors in Oklahoma — something that could, undoubtedly, be copied by other states.  Read Hollrah’s message below and let me know what you think:

Paul R. Hollrah

Dear Friends:

As a two-time member of the Electoral College, I am aware that the vast majority of electors totally misunderstand their duties and responsibilities.  Most are convinced that their only duty is to ratify the selections made at their party’s national convention.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Writing in the Federalist Papers, in defense of the proposed Electoral College, Alexander Hamilton expressed an overriding concern of the times.

He wrote: “These most deadly adversaries of republican government (cabal, intrigue, etc.) might actually have expected to make their approach from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.  How could they better gratify this than by raising a creature of their own (a “Manchurian candidate?”) to the chief magistracy of the Union?”

The fears that Hamilton expressed were not given credence until late in the 20th century and early in the 21st century.  In 1996, had Democratic electors known of the huge sums of money poured into the Clinton-Gore reelection campaign from the Peoples Republic of China, would they have voted unanimously to reelect Bill Clinton and Al Gore?  I suspect that many veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam would have had second thoughts.

In 2008, had Democratic electors been made fully aware that Barack Obama, born to an American mother and an African tribesman from Kenya, was not a “natural born” US citizen, ineligible to serve under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, would they have voted unanimously to send him to the Oval Office?  I suspect not.  The odds are that there are at least a few patriotic Democrats left who love the Constitution and who believe in the rule of law.

That being the case, I have taken steps to have Title 26, Section 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes, dealing with the oath taken by presidential electors, amended to specify precisely those things of which electors must assure themselves before casting their electoral votes.  I am sending the text of my proposed amendments to all those on my mailing list in the hope that those of you who know members of your state legislature will implore them to take similar action.  Together, we can launch a national movement that our children and grandchildren will one day thank us for.

If we all do this we may start a ball rolling that will roll over Barack Obama in 2012… deservedly so.

Paul

To download a PDF copy of Hollrah’s proposed amendment, click here.  If you like what you see, share it with legislators in your state so we can, to borrow a phrase from Hollrah, start several balls rolling.

If you enjoy this blog and want to keep reading stories like the one above, show your support by using the “Support Bob” tool at right. Follow me on Twitter @BloggingMachine. Thanks in advance for your support!

Sooners Top Preseason College Football Poll

Sure, it’s a preseason college football coaches poll, but — HEY! — it has the Oklahoma Sooners in the #1 spot and the Oklahoma State Cowboys at #8, so I simply had to share it in this space.

BOOMER SOONER or GO POKES?

Because I grew up a Sooners fan before graduating from Oklahoma State and doing a little bit of graduate school at Oklahoma, I root for both teams unless the following conditions exist:

1) If the Sooners have a legitimate shot at winning their eighth national championship and the Cowboys do not have a shot at winning their second, I pull for the Crimson and Cream to beat the Cowboys;

2) If both the Sooners and Cowboys have legitimate shots at winning the national title, I pull for the Cowboys; and

3) If only the Cowboys have a legitimate shot at repeating the 1959 effort that won them their only national championship on the gridiron, I pull for the Pokes.

If you enjoy this blog and want to keep reading stories like the one above, show your support by using the “Support Bob” tool at right. Follow me on Twitter @BloggingMachine. Thanks in advance for your support!

Memories of Smalltown Freedoms Recalled (Update)

Today, more than ever before, the freedoms celebrated by Americans on Independence Day appear to be at risk.  Among the most important are some freedoms I remember growing up with in Enid, Okla., during the ‘60s and ‘70s.

The people of Enid had the freedom to feed the world.

Because my “forever hometown” in North Central Oklahoma was known as the “Wheat Capitol of the World,” its residents could have boasted about having some of the tallest buildings in the world if not for the fact that those buildings, known as grain elevators, were lying on their sides.  Still, they were proud of those structures and what they represented as the largest inland grain storage center on the planet, visible from miles away to visitors as they made the flat-land approaches to the city via U.S. Highways 64 and 81.

Every year without fail, those grain elevators were filled as a result of hard work and a lot of prayer put in by farmers, aided by caravans of combines and a large labor force of willing-and-able teenagers and others who counted on “The Harvest” for extra income.

The people of Enid had the freedom to defend freedom.

When I was a kid, Enid served as home to some of the busiest air space in the Midwest, thanks to Vance AFB, a pilot training base since 1941 that has served as a launching pad for thousands of Air Force pilots and, more recently, Marine Corps and Navy pilots.

As a kid, I can remember going to annual Open House events at the base to see aerobatic wonders executed by members of the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron (a.k.a., “The Thunderbirds”), the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and others in the sky above my head. I also remember watching T-37 “Tweets” and T-38 Talon aircraft flying overhead almost daily during the first two decades of my life.  In addition to influencing my decision to become an active-duty Air Force officer and serve on three continents, I suspect the presence of the air base might have influenced other Enid boys, including Owen K. Garriott, the first Enidite — yes, that’s what we called ourselves — to fly into space as part of the Skylab 3 mission in 1973.

The people of Enid had the freedom to fuel freedom.

In addition to agriculture and defense, Enid was home to a large number of individuals — including my dad, an independent petroleum geologist — and companies involved in the exploration, production and refining of oil. In fact, I grew up about three miles across town from a facility known as the Champlin Oil Refinery.

Just like the Oklahoma state song says, “the wind comes sweepin’ down the plains” on a regular basis in Enid.  On rare occasions, however, the wind blew from the East instead of the West.  As a result, it was often accompanied by sulphur-tinted vapors emanating from that oil refinery.

Did the people on the West Side of Enid panic upon smelling the refinery fumes from the East Side? No, they didn’t.  In Enid, that vapor wasn’t regarded as “air pollution”; instead, it was respected — albeit in an odd sort of way — as the aroma of jobs, money and economic vitality.

The people of Enid had the freedom to enjoy freedom.

Even after the refinery was shut down in 1984 and relocated to Corpus Christi, Texas, the “dots” of agriculture, defense and oil remained connected by the “glues” of patriotism, sacrifice and rugged individualism that shaped the community. And nothing said “community” more than Independence Day celebrations at Meadowlake Park.

Each year, tens of thousands of people descended upon the 110-acre city park for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display.  For hours before sunset, they would spend time coaxing fish out of the lake, playing baseball and softball games, enjoying picnics and riding rides operated by a local civic club, the Enid Kiwanis Club.  Among the best rides at the park was a train.

The “City of Enid Express,” purchased by the club in 1963, includes an engine that’s a replica of the 1863 C. P. Huntington and three open-air passenger cars.  Most incredibly, the train was manned by volunteers and operated without any federal government support.

According to the club’s website, the train carries an average of 15,000 passengers a year over 1.2 miles of track, through a tunnel, and over two bridges.

Thanks to online resources, such as the The Enid News & Eagle website and my Facebook friends in Enid, I’m able to keep up with hometown news and have been assured of several things that give me hope as I enjoy the Fourth of July with my family in the St. Louis area:

~ The sound of freedom still roars loudly in Enid, thanks to the people at Vance AFB;

~ The combines are gonna run in the fields this summer;

~ Oil wells are still being drilled;

~ Kids are still climbing aboard that slow-moving train when the conductor can’t see them in his side-view mirror; and

~ Weather and fire danger permitting, the South side of the park is gonna shut down Monday evening so that the annual fireworks display can be enjoyed one more time by the good people of Enid.

Editor’s Note:  E-N-I-D is the answer to any crossword puzzle clue asking for the name of a four-letter town in Oklahoma.

UPDATE 7/4/11 at 5:42 a.m. Central: Cross-posted at Andrew Breitbart’s BigPeace.com.

UDPATE 7/4/11 at 6:08 a.m. Central: Here’s a link to this year’s list of Fourth of July activities in Enid.

If you enjoy this blog and want to keep reading stories like the one above, show your support by using the “Support Bob” tool at right. Follow me on Twitter @BloggingMachine. Thanks in advance for your support!

Oklahoma Leads Way in Election Law Reform

By Paul R. Hollrah, Guest Blogger

Paul R. Hollrah

When I first moved to Oklahoma from New York in 1963, Tulsa was known far and wide as the Oil Capital of the World.  Other than possessing more miles of lake frontage than any other state in the nation, Oklahoma was not among the nation’s leaders in any other category, with one possible exception: the state could easily have won the title of Vote Fraud Capital of the World.

While attending my very first political meeting in September 1963, I learned how Oklahoma elections were won and lost.  I learned, for instance, that in forty-four of the state’s seventy-seven counties, there was no such thing as a secret ballot on Election Day. Since statehood in 1907, Democrats has systematically denied voters the right to a secret ballot; there were no voting booths and no voting machines.  Voter intimidation was widespread.

Between 1963 and the fall of 1966, I organized and led a statewide election reform program called “Operation: Secret Ballot.” Over a period of months in the summer and fall of 1966, using donated funds, all volunteer labor, and a borrowed West Tulsa factory building, we built enough voting booths to supply from 800 to 1,000 precincts.  And when we had threats on our lives if we attempted to deliver voting booths to some rural counties, the Oklahoma National Guard provided troops and trucks to make the deliveries.

In the 1966 general election, with our voting booths in use all across the state and Democrats afraid not to use them, we elected the state’s second Republican governor and the state’s first Republican attorney general.  It was the biggest dose of political reform in state history and a major factor in the political renaissance that has made Oklahoma one of the reddest of red states. Now, some 45 years later, all of that is in the past and Oklahoma has become the national model for anti-fraud legislation.

For example, Oklahoma law now provides that each person appearing to vote “shall provide proof of identity,” where “proof of identity” is defined as a document that shows the name and photograph of the person to whom the ID was issued, an expiration date, and the identity of the issuing authority… the United States government, the State of Oklahoma, or the government of a federally recognized Indian tribe or nation.  If a person declines or is unable to provide proof of identity, the voter may sign a statement, under oath, affirming that he/she is the person listed on the precinct registry.  False swearing or affirming under oath is a felony crime.

Oklahoma State Capitol

Like most other states, Oklahoma has had difficulties with absentee ballot fraud.  In one rural county, a single “mobile notary public service” requested and received 250 absentee ballots in one election.  Under a new section of Oklahoma law, “Any person who knowingly executes a false application for an absentee ballot shall be guilty of a felony.”

In 2004, the New York Daily News reported the results of a study which showed that some 46,000 people, more than 70 percent of them Democrats, were registered to vote in both New York City and in Florida.  Only 12 percent were Republicans.  Researching previous elections, the Daily News found well over 400 voters who had voted in both New York and Florida in the 2000 general election… a Florida election that George W. Bush won by just 537 votes.

Oklahoma law now provides that, if a registered voter who has requested an absentee ballot attempts to vote in person on election day, that voter is required to sign an affidavit swearing or affirming that he/she did not cast the requested absentee ballot and is, therefore, entitled to vote in person.  Falsely signing such an affidavit under oath is a felony crime.

Under amendments passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law by former Democratic Governor Brad Henry, Oklahoma election laws were substantially strengthened, effective January 1, 2011:

  • Under Section 16-102 of the law, “Any person who votes more than once at any election, who votes in a precinct after having transferred voter registration to a new precinct, or who, knowing that he or she is not eligible to vote at an election, willfully votes at said election, shall be guilty of a felony.”
  • Also under Section 16-102, “Any uniformed or overseas voter who willingly votes and submits an absentee ballot later than the day of the election, and any person who knowingly votes and submits an absentee ballot issued to another person, shall be deemed guilty of a felony.” The mobile notary public that requested and received 250 absentee ballots is now out of business.
  • Under Section 16-102, subsection 3, the new Oklahoma law states that, “Any unauthorized person who knowingly removes a ballot from a polling place or who knowingly carries a ballot into a polling place shall be deemed guilty of a felony.”
  • Under Section 16-103, “Any person who knowingly swears or affirms a false affidavit in order to become eligible to vote, to obtain and vote a provisional ballot, or to obtain and vote an absentee ballot, or to cause the cancellation of a qualified elector’s voter registration, shall be deemed guilty of a felony.”
  • Section 16-103.1 of the Oklahoma law, what might be referred to as the anti-ACORN clause, provides that “any person who knowingly causes any qualified elector to be invalidly registered, who knowingly causes any unqualified person to be registered, or who knowingly causes the collection or submission of voter registration forms containing false, fraudulent, or fictitious information shall be deemed guilty of a felony.”
  • A newly amended section of Oklahoma law, Section 16-105A, should be sufficient to cause fraud-minded Democrats to lose a lot of sleep.  The section reads as follows: “Any person who knowingly conspires to commit fraud or perpetrates fraud, or who steals supplies used to conduct an election, in order to change a voter’s vote, or to change the composition of the official ballot or ballots, or to change the counting of the ballots, or to change the certification of the results of an election, shall be deemed guilty of a felony.”

In the 1968 General Election, while serving as a ballot security officer in the eastern Oklahoma ballot security office, I received a telephone call from a Cherokee County Republican official who reported that a person or persons unknown had stolen all of the Republican presidential ballots for that county. When we advised that we would have attorneys on the way to Cherokee County within minutes, the informant suggested that he was certain he knew who had stolen the ballots and that he would attempt to retrieve them.

We recommended against such unilateral action because of the dangers involved. Unfortunately, our advice went unheeded.  Our informant was found several hours later in a rural roadside ditch in Cherokee County.  He had been beaten nearly to death with lengths of heavy log chain.  He had found the stolen ballots, but it could have cost him his life.

But what is most significant about the new law is the change in penalties that became effective on January 1st.  While the earlier statute provided that, “Any person deemed guilty of a felony under provisions of this act shall, upon conviction, be confined in the State Penitentiary for not more than two (2) years, or fined not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000), or both,” the amended law increases penalties for the above-described offenses to incarceration for a period not to exceed five years, or a fine of not more than $50,000, or both.

The new Oklahoma law should be sufficient to inform those who would attempt to steal elections through fraud, violence, and intimidation that there are now serious penalties for doing so.  What is left undone is a public information campaign to inform Republican election officials and the voting public of the provision of the new law so that they can bring the guilty to justice.

In 2008, Oklahoma (77 counties) was the only state, other than Alaska (27 counties), in which a majority of voters in every county voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin.  Then, in the 2010 General Election, the people of Oklahoma elected a Republican Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, Labor Commissioner, State Auditor, Insurance Commissioner, and Superintendent of Public Instruction, all positions previously held by Democrats.

In the state legislature, Republicans gained eight House seats, going from a 62-39 to a 70-31 majority, and six Senate seats, going from a 26-22 to a 32-16 majority.   In terms of party registration, CapitolBeatOK reports that, through January 15, 2011, there were 2,090,130 registered voters in Oklahoma.  Between January 15, 2010 and January 15, 2011, Democrats increased their numbers by 88, from 999,855 to 999,943, while Republican registrations increased by 36,174, from 813,158 to 849,332.

With both houses of the state legislature in Republican hands, a Republican governor, and a Republican attorney general, Oklahomans have every expectation that they can be assured of open and honest elections.  It is a record of major accomplishment.  If Oklahoma leads the way, other states can do it as well.

Hollrah is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a contributing editor for Family Security Matters and a number of online publications.  He resides in northeast Oklahoma.

FYI: If you enjoy this blog and want to keep reading stories like the one above, show your support by using the “Support Bob” tool at right. Thanks in advance for your support!