Libertarians and Greens announce joint petition drive in Oklahoma

Press Release from Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform:

NEW PARTIES TO LAUNCH HISTORIC INITIATIVE, EYE 2016 BALLOT OKLAHOMA CITY

– On Monday, June 15, the Oklahoma Libertarian and Greens parties will launch an unprecedented, joint petitioning campaign for the 2016 election ballot. Party leaders will hold a brief news conference with the media at 4 p.m. in the first-floor rotunda of the Oklahoma State Capitol building; thereafter, party leaders will proceed to the state election board office, room B6, to file their intentions. The Libertarian Part of Oklahoma is seeking state recognition for the first time since 2000, when Harry Browne was voters’ last non-major-party option for US president. Greens, meanwhile, have never placed a party-label candidate on the ballot. Their closest attempt came in support of Ralph Nader’s best run in 2000; however, the drive moved the state’s loose confederation of local chapters to unite as the first state Green Party of Oklahoma in 2004. Both parties now hope their newly formed alliance can take advantage of the state’s lowest petition signature requirement since 1974. Anyone interested in volunteering for this historic petition drive is invited to attend a free training event, from 1 – 2 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Avenue, in Oklahoma City.

Official statement from the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma:
“The Oklahoma Libertarian Party strongly believes that a government of the people and by the people can only work if every citizen is engaged and allowed to vote for true representation at the ballot box. Therefore we are proud to partner with the Green Party of Oklahoma in a campaign designed to boost the chances of both groups being recognized in 2016. We join with them in spreading and promoting the positive message of accessible and accountable government through the expansion of voter choice. By actively petitioning for both parties simultaneously we say to the world that while our two parties may differ in terms of political ideology, we are not afraid for those ideologies to compete in a fair and honest marketplace. On the contrary, we welcome the opportunity with the knowledge that such exchanges can only make each other and our state stronger.”

Official statement from the Green Party of Oklahoma:
“The Green Party of Oklahoma believes in building relationships across party differences and bringing balanced representation to public dialogue and decision-making. While Green and Libertarian positions on multiple issues vary widely, we also share valuable common ground. Our alliance with the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma in this ballot access petitioning effort sets the example of the kind of nonpartisan cooperation we would like to see more of in our local and national government. Getting both parties on the ballot in Oklahoma insures more views and voices are counted, and that all Oklahoma voters see their interests represented on the ballot. This is a fundamental goal on which we all agree true democracy depends. We are excited to work together for this cause.”

For more information, visit WWW.OKVOTERCHOICE.ORG.

10 thoughts on “Libertarians and Greens announce joint petition drive in Oklahoma

  1. paulie

    I’ve petitioned for two or more parties at the same time many times, often L and G. It makes it all that much easier to explain that this is just about fair and open elections and equal voting rights, not which party you vote for or what your ideology is.

  2. Andy Craig

    It did seem to me that calling this unprecedented is a bit of a stretch, since like you say it’s actually pretty common. I suppose it could be argued it hasn’t happened in OK before, though.

    The press release seems to imply that this will be an all-volunteer drive. I doubt that’s the case, since Wes has already talked about the LNC’s allocation to an OK drive as being a significant chunk of the ballot access budget. But still, good to know the state parties will be kicking in a substantive volunteer effort as well.

    It’s looking like we’ll have a pretty decent chance of finally making it back to 50-state ballot access for the 2016 nominee.

  3. paulie

    “I suppose it could be argued it hasn’t happened in OK before, though.”

    I and many other people have done it in Oklahoma. In 2000, which was the last time I was working on party petitions there (I was there again, but only with initiatives, a few years later) most of us had LP and Reform Party, and some people also had deals with Green Party/Nader and/or state initiative campaigns. I was new to the out of state petition scene that year, so I only had LP and second or third hand deals with Reform Party and no connections to get pay on the others, but I did work side by side with a young woman who was petitioning for the Greens at an arts festival; we sent people back and forth between each other. A crew with the Reform Party petition, which I had not picked up yet at that point in the petition drive but did later, worked next to us for part of that time. At least one woman I knew had all the petitions – four or five, I believe – and shamelessly used her natural assets to get 200-300 signatures a day on each of them, all while staying in a battered womens shelter so she wouldn’t have to pay for a motel and demanding to be paid immediately, including in the middle of the night….although that’s neither here nor there.

    “The press release seems to imply that this will be an all-volunteer drive.”

    I don’t think so. The LP will probably pay. Not sure about the Greens. They’re all-volunteer for now, though.

    “Wes has already talked about the LNC’s allocation to an OK drive as being a significant chunk of the ballot access budget. ”

    It will be if it passes. The allocation has not been made yet.

  4. paulie

    Also, a lot of people double petitioned for LP and Americans elect for 2012 in OK. AE made it, LP didn’t, you know the story. The LP did not utilize the opportunity to use AE petitioners already on the ground as much as possible, though, which had a lot to do with the petition falling short.

  5. Andy Craig

    Speaking of AE/OK 2012, are there any other states where partisan ballot access has been ruled to attach to the national party and not the state party? Is that the case going forward in OK for the Greens and Libertarians, if they succeed? For example, the LNC nominates Dave but the OK party wants Jack, would LP-OK not be able to do like Arizona did in 2000?

  6. paulie

    As far as I know, the decision of the Oklahoma state government in 2012 regarding that matter goes against all established precedent. Whether it establishes a new precedent for Oklahoma depends on what the state government decides on a case by case basis, and whether or not courts choose to intervene or not, I guess. In all likelihood, it probably won’t come up in Oklahoma as an issue in 2016. It could come up in other states conceivably – for example, Oregon for the LP – but IMO it’s probably very unlikely that the OK precedet from 2012 will override all the other precedents from other sates if it does.

  7. Andy Craig Post author

    Interesting. I agree it’s unlikely to be an issue for either party in 2016, but the fact that a clear answer doesn’t exist is a little worrisome, and if I were in either state party I would attempt to seek clarification. For the Secretary of State’s office to say “I dunno, we’ll just make it up depending on which side we like better.” is unacceptable, but then again what they did in 2012 was also unacceptable.

    So far as Oregon, or any other party, my opinion is that if any state party disaffiliates and refuses to put the LNC’s nominee on the ballot, the LNC should respond by promptly, if not immediately, approving another affiliate for that state. Maybe hold off until after the upcoming election if they still agree to put the nominee on that state’s ballot, but other than that the LNC should treat it like any other state in need of an active LP affiliate. Even if they have to contrive a different ballot label (e.g. “Liberty”).

    I’m still skeptical that LPO will actually do that though, particularly if the question is put to a mail ballot of all registered Libertarians in the state. If they couldn’t even get a dozen people at their own 2015 convention who wanted to up the issue, I doubt that will have changed by next year.

  8. paulie

    The issue with the state convention wasn’t that they did not have enough people who wanted to raise the issue but that the whole convention did not have enough people to do any business. In a sense, you could say this means they did not have enough people that cared enough about it to bother attending the convention, but maybe too many people just expected other people to take care of it for them… or maybe you’re right. And maybe you’re right about what will happen if/when it goes to mail ballot, but on the other hand, it may have a lot to do with how the question is worded, what kind of advertising is done to get the desired results, who bothers to return the ballots, and conceivably even who counts the votes and how (I said conceivably; I am not saying anyone will actually commit any improprieties).

  9. paulie

    my opinion is that if any state party disaffiliates and refuses to put the LNC’s nominee on the ballot, the LNC should respond by promptly, if not immediately, approving another affiliate for that state. Maybe hold off until after the upcoming election if they still agree to put the nominee on that state’s ballot, but other than that the LNC should treat it like any other state in need of an active LP affiliate. Even if they have to contrive a different ballot label (e.g. “Liberty”).

    They would still have to raise enough money and qualify that new affiliate for the ballot. And that may not be so easy, with all the other states that have to be qualified at the same time, national fundraising overall being down (if that trend continues), a threatened national negative campaign to discourage donations to LP national by Wagner et al, the Rand Paul campaign sucking up libertarian donors away from the LP, and so on.

    In a sense, if Wagner and friends want to minimize the chances of 50+ state ballot access for the national LP ticket, they are better off holding off the disaffiliation until next year; that gives LP national less time to react by qualifying a separate party affiliate and/or independent presidential ticket for the nationally selected nominees. It’s therefore at least possible (though not necessarily true) that they intentionally avoided meeting quorum so it could be put off to mail ballot next year.

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