Oklahoma City, Okla. – Ralph Nader will speak in support of ballot access reform at an Oklahoma City rally on Wednesday, September 8, 2010, from 7 pm to 9 pm. The event will be hosted in the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom at 3233 Northwest Expressway.
Representatives of Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform, the Green Party of Oklahoma, the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma and the newly-formed Pirate Party of Oklahoma, also said they will attend the event.
“Oklahoma presidential ballot access laws are among the strictest in the country,” said Christina Tobin, founder and chair of The Free and Equal Elections Foundation. “Oklahoma even forbids write-in votes. When I heard Oklahoma was a red state, I didn’t think it referred to the Soviet Union.”
“Oklahoma ballot access for president is so bad, no Oklahoma voter has been permitted to vote for anyone for President in the last 9 years except for the nominees of the two major parties,” said Richard Winger, publisher of Ballot Access News. “Oklahoma is the only state in which no one has ever been allowed to vote for Nader.”
“Oklahoma ballot access laws relating to independent presidential candidates are supremely irrational, because independent candidates for office other than president are very easy in Oklahoma, and the state has no problem with crowded general election ballots for any partisan office,” Winger said. “Independent candidates don’t need any signatures at all, unless they are running for President, in which case they need 43,880 valid signatures (for 2012).”
“This event and others like it provide a forum for like-minded voters to come together in a unified front to challenge the political status quo, which has long left many sooner state residents without the representation they desire and deserve,” Tobin said. “Free & Equal encourages Oklahoma to join the majority of states, which have adopted revenue-positive filing fees in lieu of revenue-negative signature requirements.”
Free and Equal Public Relations Director Kaylee Burton also will be on hand at the event to meet with voters who want to put a stop to more of the same duopoly that has long governed the state, and will interview Nader following the event, regarding ballot access, drug prohibition, the nationwide movement to legalize marijuana and war in general.
“Voter choice is long overdue in Oklahoma,” Burton said. “I grew up here … went to college here … and I’ll never forget the first time I heard about ballot access laws. It was like a slap upside the head to realize I had been conditioned to think Oklahoma elections were fair, only to find out that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s absurd the level of control Democrats and Republicans hold in this state and now that I’ve learned the truth, I want to help others to pull the wool back from their eyes.”
Free and Equal is organizing an all-inclusive back to back debate for governor and U.S. Senate candidates. All ballot-qualified candidates will be invited. Further details will be announced in the near future.
Wednesday’s event is free and open to the public.