Ballot Access Rally in OklahomaSubmitted by ultimation on Wed, 10/10/2012 - 21:50
On Monday I covered a small rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Put together in large part by master of ceremonies Meg DeMarco, the rally was about ballot access reform in the state. My report on the event is below, followed by my thoughts on the issue especially as it relates to my state of residence.
Oklahoma has some of the strictest ballot access laws of any state in the nation. We have closed primaries, we do not allow write-ins, and we require more petition signatures than any other state in order to place a candidate on the ballot for a presidential election. Oklahoma was also the only state in 2004 to have only two candidates on the presidential ballot.
There is a long list of statements which could end with "except in Oklahoma" for a lot of things, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. However, an overly restrictive (in my opinion) ballot access system is not a positive feature of our state. Because of the closed primary system, voters who are not registered with any party, or are registered with the "wrong" party don't always even have the chance to vote at all. That's terrible! The whole reason we fought for this nation in the first place was because we didn't have the ability to elect representatives.