Oklahoma Ballot Access Bill Passes Legislature

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Ballot Access News:

On May 6, the Oklahoma House passed HB 2181 by 83-0. It had passed the House on March 10, and had passed the Senate on April 22. But the Senate version was different than the House version, so it had to return to the House to see if the House agreed with the Senate amendments. Now the bill goes to Governor Mary Fallin, who is in her second term.

Assuming she signs it, Oklahoma will require 24,745 signatures for a newly-qualifying party for both 2016 and 2018. Without the bill, the 2016 requirement would have been 41,242. The 2014 requirement was 66,744. The new formula will be 3% of the last gubernatorial vote, whereas the old law is 5% of the last vote cast. Under the old law, the requirement skyrockets for midterm years and is lower in presidential years; this is the “see-saw” effect, but the new bill eliminates it.

Here is a video of the House action, which lasts about 5 minutes. It consists of the author of the bill telling the House that he urges that the bill as amended by the Senate be passed by the House. He regrets that the Senate tripled the number of signatures, relative to the original bill, but says that is the best deal he can get. He also said that he would consider a bill in the next session to lower the number of signatures. Thanks to Rick Kissell for the link.

4 thoughts on “Oklahoma Ballot Access Bill Passes Legislature

  1. paulie Post author

    It still will be far from easy, but easier than it has been in many years. Of course, that’s if it doesn’t get vetoed (or if the veto is sustained if it does get vetoed).

  2. David

    I thought we were close in 2012 on getting on the ballot? The OKLP and others did collect over 40,000 sigs if I have my facts right. If that’s the case 24,000 plus should be attainable.

  3. paulie Post author

    It should be. However, circumstances are different each time. We’ve been biting the curb on fundraising lately, and 2012 only came as close as it did because of (inadequate) last minute piggybacking off Americans Elect. This time, the ever-name-changing entity that was Americans Elect in 2012 has a different game plan. If they don’t change their mind(s) again, they will only attempt to get on the ballot if the FEC agrees to their plan, which would involve a signature competition to see which one non-D/R candidate will get the most signatures nationwide. With their deep pockets, they will win any such contest, but if it happens, they are almost certainly not going to allow their petitioners to carry other petitions just on the off chance that it could help their competitors in the debate slot race. They’ll pay enough to make sure it doesn’t happen and will have spies out and about to make sure petitioners don’t double cross them, I expect.

    Also – timing matters. It will be a matter of what other petition drives are going on where and when as far as getting a petition workforce in there. In 2012, they were already starting Oklahoma in, I believe, May 2011, and now they are not even close to being ready to start.

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