Government of Oklahoma - County Government

County Government

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The county is the primary administrative division of Oklahoma. They are bodies politic and corporate. There are seventy-seven counties in the state. Counties contain a number of towns and cities as well as all unincorporated land in the state. Every county has a county seat, often a populous or centrally located city or village, where the county government is headquartered.

In traditional Midwest fashion, counties in Oklahoma possess a moderate scope of power. As extensions of the state government, counties are primarily administrative bodies which possess executive and limited judicial powers, but not legislative powers. Their primary responsibilities are related to managing, planning and governing all unincorporated land within their borders. These include overall planning, police service, as well as some legal services. The counties keep records of deaths, births, marriages, divorces, property ownership, and court activities within the county. The counties must also maintain a court system, law enforcement, road and bridge construction, and voter registration.

As extensions of the state government, the counties are responsible for six major services:

  • Maintaining the peace and protecting life and property
  • Assessing and collecting taxes to operate the county
  • Compile, record, and preserve public records essential to maintaining individual property rights
  • Building and maintain public roads, highways, and bridges
  • Providing facilities for courts and the administration of justice through the District Court system
  • Caring for the needy and indigent, orphaned children, and the aged

Each county government is composed of eight elected officials and a District Attorney. All county officials serve four year terms beginning on the first Monday in January following their election.

Read more about this topic:  Government Of Oklahoma

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