My Latest Letter To The Editor Is Published In The Tulsa World

June 6, 2014 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

My latest letter to the editor points out that the legislature once again failed to pass ballot access reform. This one was published by the Tulsa World. I sent the same letter to the Daily Oklahoman.

Another session of the Legislature has ended and Oklahoma is still number one in having the worst ballot access laws in the nation.

Oklahoma has the harshest laws regulating who can form a new political party or who can be on the presidential ballot. All other states have an easier process for both of those actions.

This year, the Legislature considered House Bill 2134, which would have greatly eased both of those processes, but once again was quietly killed it. The bill would have reduced the number of signatures needed to form a new political party by half. It later was changed to reducing the independent presidential petition requirement by half. The bill went to a conference committee where it languished and died. This is the same sort of committee that has quietly killed every ballot access bill in the last six years.

Oklahoma is in sore need of new political ideologies and new leadership outside the current parties. But we will get neither if we keep electing the same people who block efforts to allow those ideologies and leaders access to the political process. We need to reform our laws, but more important, we need to vote out of office anyone who votes to deny political freedom in Oklahoma.

My letter was also published by the Daily Oklahoman. Here it is as they published it.

Another session of the Legislature has ended and Oklahoma is still No. 1. In what? In having the worst ballot access laws in the nation. This state has the harshest laws regulating who can form a new political party or who can be on the presidential ballot. All other states have an easier process for both actions.

This year, the Legislature considered a bill that would have greatly eased both of these processes; once again, lawmakers quietly killed it. The bill would have reduced, by half, the number of signatures needed to form a new political party and to meet the independent presidential petition requirement. The bill went to a conference committee, where it languished and died. This is the same sort of committee that has quietly killed every ballot access bill that passed both chambers of the Legislature in the past six years.

Oklahoma sorely needs new political ideologies and new leadership outside the current parties. We will get neither if we keep electing the same people who block efforts to allow these ideologies and leaders access to the political process. We need to reform our laws, but more importantly we need to vote out of office anyone who denies political freedom in Oklahoma.

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