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Oklahoma Ballot Access Initiative Doomed by Oklahoma Circulator Restrictions

Published on November 20, 2007, by in General.

Oklahoma Ballot Access Reform (OBAR) has reluctantly concluded that the initiative to reform the Oklahoma ballot access laws cannot obtain the needed 74,000 valid signatures by January 15, 2008, the legal deadline. OBAR will use its remaining fiscal resources to lobby the Oklahoma legislature for a better law.

The chief reason for the demise of the initiative effort is Oklahoma’s law making it a crime for someone who is not domiciled in Oklahoma to ask people to sign an initiative petition. Oklahoma’s best professional petitioners are currently working on initiatives in other states that pay far more per signature than OBAR can afford to pay. Vigorous, almost super-human efforts, have been made to hire more Oklahoma residents to circulate the petition. Two hundred paid circulators have been working. But the vast majority of them are new to professional petitioning, and their production is only a tiny fraction of what an experienced circulator can do. In the 36 days since the drive started, only 12,000 signatures have been obtained by the paid workers, plus a few thousand more volunteer signatures.

The lawsuit against Oklahoma’s ban on out-of-state circulators is currently pending in the 10th circuit.

5 Responses

  1. God help a third party get traction in this country.

  2. Demo Rep

    Can any OK genius lawyers detect that —

    SEPARATE ballot access laws are NOT EQUAL ballot access laws ???

    See Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 495 (1954) — for some MORON reasons NOT brought up in hundreds of ballot access cases since 1968.

  3. Andy

    This illustrates something that a lot of people don’t understand and that is that good petition signature gatherers are hard to find.

    When a legislative body comes up with a BS anti-1st amendment rule that prohibits people from travelling in from other states to ask people to sign petitions it limits the pool of petition signature gatherers to the point where it is much more difficult to put things on the ballot. The biggest loser in this situation is the general public in Oklahoma as they are being denied choices on the ballot.

  4. ETJB

    I hope that they are successful with the state legislators, although I would not be too optimstic. The fact that any effort is being made was more then i was ever able to get going in ND.

    This might be an issue that younger people support more. I was at a local meeeting of young democrats (watching the debate) and their was wide support for IRV and fair ballot access laws. I have known young Republicans who feel the same way.

    The USSC rulings on ballot access law (post-1968) have just been embarassing sloppy, confusing anad downright laughable. They might get better in the future, but i doubt that the two new justices are friendly to the cause.

  5. D. Frank Robinson

    Previous experience indicates that money spent ‘lobbying’ the Oklahoma Legislature is money flushed because no bill will be allowed out of committee.

    I would suggest, as Chair Emeritus of the OKLP, that the money be spent to pay filing fees for candidates running as independents for the state legislature to raise awareness of ballot access in real elections.

    Candidates using this issue to lead their campaigns could attract support for a future ballot initiative AND this is the most effective way to lobby incumbents by making them publicly defend their self-serving law.

    OKIES, get it together for the June filing period. Same advice applies to many other states I’ll bet.

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