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'Take Shelter Oklahoma' Seeks Signatures As Petition Deadline Approaches

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The deadline for gathering signatures was supposed to be Tuesday, but the group hopes a ruling from the Supreme Court will change that. The deadline for gathering signatures was supposed to be Tuesday, but the group hopes a ruling from the Supreme Court will change that.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Petition gatherers for the Take Shelter Oklahoma initiative say they're working around the clock to get about 40,000 signatures to reach their goal.

The deadline was supposed to be Tuesday. The group hopes a ruling from the Supreme Court will change that.

"We're feverishly trying to get those into the office, so we can have them ready to go," said State Rep. Joe Dorman. "And we expect many of them to be dropped off tonight and tomorrow."

Dorman says the group has collected about 120,000 signatures, but is still quite a distance from the target of 160,000 signatures needed to get the measure on a ballot so Oklahomans can vote on placing storm shelters inside every single school in the state.

It's an issue Dorman says can't be ignored, and students must be protected.

"Not only the ones who lost their lives, but the ones who have been traumatized, the ones who worry about going to school, because they remember what happened."

"I think every school child in Oklahoma deserves a safe place to go to school."

Petitions were being dropped off and notarized in downtown Oklahoma City at the Dunlap Codding building, where Take Shelter Oklahoma held its final event -- a Thank-you party -- to celebrate all the petition gatherers' 90 days of work.

Opponents of the group's initiative are against using the franchise tax to pay for it. Dorman says it would not raise taxes on Oklahomans, only the medium to large corporations would have to pay the tax when it's reinstated next year.

"We've seen that response, and many Oklahomans have stepped up, and we're hoping we'll get to the magic number, and get this on the ballot."

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court is expected to determine the final wording of ballot title and if the petition deadline will be extended.

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