Letter to the Editor: Status quo?
BY E. Zachary Knight, Newcastle
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
2/19/13 at 8:12 AM
Once again, ballot access reform is on the table in Oklahoma. Will this be the year that Oklahoma joins the rest of the U.S. in easing the requirements to form a new party? Will this year be the year that Oklahoma citizens can look forward to real choice in future presidential elections?
Or will we see a continuation of the status quo?
Unfortunately, things are off to a very rocky start. While bills have been introduced in both the state House and Senate, these bills are in the exact same position similar bills were in the past two legislative sessions. That position ended with prior efforts dying in committee.
The House version, HB 2134, reduces the signature requirement to 5,000 signatures, the same requirement needed prior to 1974. Yet, the Senate version, SB 668, retains the current 5 percent requirement but drops the presidential elections from the equation. This has been the Senate hard line for many years.
It is time for the Senate to end its war on Oklahoma voter choice and amend SB 668 to reflect the language introduced in the House. There are no valid reasons for keeping the status quo. There are no valid reasons for blocking a change for the better in Oklahoma politics.
It is time for change. If three presidential elections in a row where Oklahoma was the only state in the U.S. with two choices on the ballot is not evidence to support that, then what is?
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