OKBallotChoice.org - a coalition of Oklahomans working for FAIR laws that give voters genuine choices
HOME HOME The Issues Resources Press Help Email Discussion List Contact us Home Ballot Access News Oklahoma Coalition of Independents NOTA4Oklahoma 2004 Campaign Oklahoma Libertarian Party Green Party of Oklahoma Oklahoma Constitution Party Voters in 49 states (but not Oklahoma) could vote for Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Candidate Voters in 28 states (but not Oklahoma) could vote for Green Candidate David Cobb Voters in 35 states (but not Oklahoma) could vote for Reform/Ind. Candidate Ralph Nader Voters in 36 states (but not Oklahoma) could vote for Constitution Candidate Michael Peroutka Voters in 14 states (but not Oklahoma) could vote for Socialist Workers Candidate Roger Calero MENU

"All elections shall be free and equal." - Oklahoma Constitution, Section III-5

State Legislators will decide the fate of the voter choice bill, HB 1072.
Contact your legislators.

April 12th Press conference with national Libertarian Party Chair Bill Redpath supporting House Bill 1072 at the Capitol

Read two Letters in The Oklahoman supporting ballot access reform.
The Oklahoman comments on House Bill 1072 (March 6,2010).

KFOR on OBAR's President's Day Event at Capitol

(print the pdf sheet)
The Oklahoman Supports OBAR's 2007 Initiative Petition.
SEE over 50 Oklahoma Media Mentions on ballot access

Join OBAR on FACEBOOK and (become a fan) and MYSPACE

Current Reform Bill - House Bill 1072:
HB 1072: House version, Senate version, fiscal summary
Conference Committee to decide fate of voter choice bill.
OBAR President's Day event to highlight lack of choices.
HB 1072 can still improve Oklahoma's ballots.
Free & Equal supports reform in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Gazette story: Can Oklahoma change its ballot laws? (web)
The Oklahoman says "Lawmakers need to give this issue real attention."
An Oklahoman Editorial Supports OBAR's 2009 Legislation, HB 1072.
HB 1072 put on hold until 2010 session. (posted May 20, 2009)
Free and Equal Supports Reform in Oklahoma
HB 1072 passes Oklahoma Senate 46-0, votes in pdf
HB 1072 passes Oklahoma Senate Rules Committee 12-2
HB 1072 passes the Oklahoma House 86-5.
HB 1072 passes Oklahoma House Rules Committee 10-2.

Contact your state Representative and ask them to support the 2010 Ballot Access Reform Bill, House Bill 1072. (Find their phone number and email here).

Listen to the KGOU story!

Print the OBAR 10 Reasons pdf sheet!
Print the OBAR 10 Reasons pdf sheet!

(Special thanks to the OU students who made this film.)

2008 Presidential Candidates Support OBAR:
  * Constitution Party Presidential Candidate speaks in Midwest City
  * Lt. Col. Robert M. Bowman (ret.) speaks in Tulsa
  * Ralph Nader, Independent Presidential Candidate Speaks in Oklahoma
  * Libertarian Presidential Candidate to Submit Signatures in Oklahoma
  * Libertarian Presidential Candidate says Oklahoma is worst for ballot access.
  * OBAR event in Tulsa with former Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney -(pdf)
  * Unity08 calls for support of OBAR and ballot access reform
  * OBAR Dinner with Congressman Bob Barr & National Libertarian Chair -(pdf)
  * Oklahoman article: Independent Presidential Candidate, Imperato, visits state
  * Press Release: Presidential Candidate and Libertarian Director in OKC - (pdf)
  * 2008 Reform Bills: One page Info Sheet (PDF).

2007 OBAR Initiative Petition: SQ 740
  * 14,000 Signatures for Reform Filed with Secretary of State
  * SQ 740 filed with Secretary of State (pdf)
  * Press Release: OBAR Filed with Secretary of State -(pdf)
  * Press Release: OBAR challenging Nation's most restrictive election laws -(pdf)
  * The Sunday Oklahoman covers OBAR's efforts.
  * Libertarian Party National Office Mobilizes to Support OBAR
  * Press Release: OBAR to Petition for Voter Choice - (pdf)
  * Read the Fundraising Letter (pdf).

2007 NEWS:
    * OU Daily op-ed supports reform.
    * Oklahoma's largest newspaper supports ballot access reform...again.
    * Ballot Access News highlights Oklahoma's laws, the most anti-democratic in the nation.
    * An Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs article says "It is surprising that a state with Oklahoma's populist tradition...is the nation's most restrictive state in terms of ballot access."
    * Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul says ballot access is a huge problem in America.
    * Oklahoma Republican Platform for 2007 says (III G. 6., PDF):
"We support less restrictive ballot access for all political parties and candidates."
    * Oklahoma Supreme Court refuses to hear Libertarians' ballot access lawsuit appeal.
    * Oklahoma's ballot access is compared to Russia's in a letter to the Oklahoman.
    * Oklahoma's largest newspaper supports Libertarians' ballot access lawsuit appeal.
    * Oklahoma County Republican 2007 Platform endorses ballot access reform.
    * Libertarians to appeal Ballot Access Case to Oklahoma Supreme Court. OKLP press release here.
    * In a letter to the Gazette, David Splinter writes that the majority are silencing the minority.
    * Richard Prawdzienski criticizes the legislature for failing to give a committee hearing to reform bills.
    * Libertarians Lose Oklahoma Ballot Access Case in State Court of Appeals.
    * Letter to the Oklahoman and El Reno Tribune calls for support of SB 28 and HB 1359.
    * OKIES shows why Oklahoma's ballot access is 10 times as restrictive as TX, MS, and NM.
    * Senate Bill 28 and House Bill 1359, the 2007 reform bills, have been introduced.

2006 NEWS:
    * The state's largest newspaper says ballot access laws should be reformed.
    * In a Gazette Commentary, Richard Prawdzienski says why Oklahoma deserves more voter choice.
    * Read Oklahomans' comments in the press supporting Ballot Access Reform.
    * Oklahoma Coalition of Independents say Oklahoma needs voter choice in interview (3 minutes).
    * Thom Holmes, Chair of the Constitution Party of Oklahoma, on why America needs more voter choice
    * Four simple reasons to open Oklahoma's democracy by reforming ballot access.
    * The Oklahoma Daily reports that ballot acess laws are tough in Oklahoma.
    * OK Insider covers OBAR (note: the open/closed primary issue is different than ballot access).
    * Oklahoma Coalition of Independents (OKIES) endorses candidates supporting ballot access reform.
    * An OU newspaper article discusses Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform.
    * 2006 Legislative Contact List fot Ballot Access Awareness Campaign.
    * Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News, says other state are happy since opening their ballots.
    * OBAR distributes 2006 Legislative Information Packet at Capitol and to other candidates
    * Endorse Reform of Oklahoma's restrictive Ballot Access Laws. Form here (pdf)
    * 2006 OBAR Legislative Information Packet: HTML or PDF
    * Ballot Access in the press 9/20/06: Gazette commentary and on Tailgate Politics Radio show
    * Why was Oklahoma ballot access made so restrictive?
    * OETA covers an Independent/Green House campaign and ballot access issues (3 min)
    * Letter to the Gazette proposes attracting more candidates to run by reforming ballot access

2005 NEWS:
    * Op-Ed Commentary on Ballot Access Reform published in the Oklahoma Gazette
    * OU Student Congress passes resolution endorsing HB 1429!
    * Oklahoma Ballot Access Reform efforts get attention from national third-parties
    * OBAR Press Release: No openness in the House, say ballot reformers
    * Read the latest Ballot Access Reform LTE's in The Claremore Progress, The Muskogee Daily
, The Edmond Sun, The Oklahoman and The Tulsa World

    * State Senator Randy Brogdon (R-Tulsa) sponsors HB1429 in the Senate!
    * Fight to get HB1429 out of committee!
    * State Rep. Marian Cooksey introduces bill to reform ballot access

2004 NEWS:
    * OBAR publishes 2004 Legislative Information Packet
    * Oklahoma: The Banana Republic State
    * 9,400 Oklahoma voters care enough to go to votes but can't find anyone to vote for
    * Afghan voters get 18 choices for President, while Oklahoma voters only get 2 choices
    * An Oklahoman editorial says "ballot access is a problem that needs to be fixed".
    * Richard Prawdzienski writes that Oklahoma's restrictive ballot access dilutes ideals.
    * Libertarians file ballot access lawsuit against the state.

    * 2003: Clark Duffe says Oklahoma's Ballot Access is Arduous in an article in the Oklahoman.
    * 2002: Fair ballot access would have a positive effect said 71% of Oklahoma political scientists.
    * 2002: Chris Powell writes that bordering states have much lower ballot access requirements.
    * 2000: R.C. Sevier White writes that ballot access laws laws don't apply to the major parties.
    * 1999: Ballot Access News Editor calls for Reform in Oklahoma.
    * 1984: U.S. District Judge says Oklahoma's ballot access laws "more severe" than any other state.
    * 1984: Lawsuit says Oklahoma ballot access laws deny the exercise of free speech, the right to assemble, the right to run for office, and the right of equal protection.

Get an OBAR Bumper Sticker!

Consider Voting for None of the Above (NOTA) for president by not marking either candidate allowed on the Oklahoma ballot, but do vote for the remaining races. Restricted to just two choices in 2004, almost 10,000 Oklahoma voters chose NOTA four years ago.

Educate your 2006 legislative candidates about the need for Ballot Access Reform and find out where they stand.

Visit the Candidate Contact List to see how to get in touch with your district's House and Senate candidates. Find out if they support ballot access reform and give them a 2006 OBAR legislative packet (pdf) if you can visit them in person. If you have questions about this effort, you can call David Splinter at 405-370-3431. Thank you for your support.

OBAR visited the Capitol Sept. 20th to drop off the 2006 Legislative Packet.
Non-incumbent candidates were mailed packets Oct. 7th (cover letter, pdf).

Endorse Reform of Oklahoma's restrictive Ballot Access Laws

Email your Name, organization, and title if you agree with the following:

"I support reforming Oklahoma's restrictive ballot access laws by returning the number of signatures for recognition of political party back to 5,000, the number required from 1924 until 1974."

Endorsement form(pdf) here.

See the who has already endorsed reform.

Individual and Organizational endorsements are welcome. Email endorsements to david_splinter@yahoo.com

2006 OBAR Legislative Information Packet

Oct. 8th, 2006: The Oklahoma Ballot Access Reform coalition has distributed an informational packet to distribute to all legislative candidates and members of the Oklahoma state legislature.
The packet includes the following information:
  1. Comparison of the number of 2004 Presidential candidate choices available to voters in each state
  2. Comparison of Oklahoma's ballot laws with those of its neighbors
  3. Frequently Asked Questions about Ballot Access Reform
  4. Full text of The Fair Ballot Access and Greater Voter Choice Bill
  5. Links to Editorials and Op-ed commentary (This site)
  6. Language to endorse Ballot Access Reform in Oklahoma

To view the packet in PDF format click here

To view the cover letter in PDF format click here

Visit the Candidate Contact List to make sure your House and Senate candidates or legislators have received a packet.

The proposed bill in the packet has a 5,000 signature requirement, which was the number required in Oklahoma from statehood until 1974.

Email from Ballot Access News Editor, Richard Winger

From: ban@richardwinger.com Sent: Sunday, October 15, 2006 9:28 AM

The primary argument we make should always be the moral one. It is simply unAmerican to tell qualified voters that they may not vote for candidates from their own party. If someone points out that we are always free to run candidates (other than president) via the independent method, it is obviously a disservice to all the voters to disguise the fact that a Green or a Libertarian is running, with the incorrect label "independent".

Tell the Oklahoma legislators that 4 Libertarians were elected to the New Hampshire house in 1992, and the Republican leadership of the NH House was not unhappy. They let the 4 Libertarians be recognized as a caucus, with their own equal privileges with the major party caucuses. Same in Maine, where there is only one Green; he is recognized as a caucus, with an office. Same in Vermont, where there are 6 Progressives and one of them chairs a committee.

Minor party state legislators are very capable people (because otherwise they could never get elected, given the handicaps of not being a D or R) and are an asset to their legislatures. They get along well with the major party legislators.

As far as ballot crowding, this is stupid argument, since Oklahoma already has very easy ballot access for independents (except for president). Also, my research has shown that if a state requires as many as 5,000 signatures, it will never have more than 8 on the ballot. My peer-reviewed research is published in the April 2006 Election Law Journal.

Also, tell Oklahoma legislators to pay attention to the experience of Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, neighbor states that have tolerant ballot access. Missouri liberalized ballot access for minor parties in 1993; Colorado did in 1998; Kansas did in 1984. Those states are happy with what they did; in none of those states has any legislator introduced a bill to make it restrictive again.

Richard Winger
Editor, Ballot Access News

Why was Oklahoma ballot access made so restrictive?

In 1968 the American Independent candidate received 20.3% of the Oklahoma vote. Concerned state politicians voted to restrict third party access in 1974, perhaps fearing the results of weak Democratic support in 1976 (George McGovern, ended up with only 24% of the Oklahoma vote). See the 1976 court case when American Party presidential candidate, Thomas Anderson, challenged Oklahoma's laws tailored to keep Oklahomans from exercising voter choice.

Oklahoma Ballot Access Reform efforts get attention from national third-parties

Here are some of the recent national party reports/discussion on Oklahoma ballot access reform efforts and our state legislature's failure to restore democracy to our state....

  • The Libertarian Party: Oklahoma legislature stalls on ballot access reform bill

  • Greens in the News 2/28/05-3/7/05: Third Parties seeking improved ballot access in Oklahoma

  • Constitution Party: Open Ballots

    OBAR Press Release: No openness in the House, say ballot reformers

    March 3, 2005: Oklahoma City - After being told that ballot access reform legislation will not be heard in committee this legislative session, Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform says the new rules put in place at the State House aren't delivering openness and accountability as promised by House Speaker Todd Hiett.

    House Bill 1429, which would lower the number of signatures necessary for an unrecognized party to get on the ballot, is assigned to the Rules Committee. Supporters of the bill were told by its author, Rep. Marian Cooksey (R-Edmond), that it would not be heard in committee. The office of Rep. Sue Tibbs (R-Tulsa), Chair of the Rules Committee, has confirmed that the bill will not be heard, but no reason is being given. The bill is identical to a bill introduced by Tibbs two years ago. Several members of the committee have already indicated they would support the bill, and Sen. Randy Brogdon (R-Owasso) agreed to sponsor the bill in the State Senate. OBAR members are finding it difficult to understand why the bill won't even be heard in committee, a necessary step for the measure to proceed to the House floor.

    "Rep. Hiett took over as speaker and promised an open process," said OBAR spokesman James Branum. "HB 1429 has support inside and outside the Legislature. Someone is keeping this bill from proceeding, but there's no way for us to find out who or why. That's not an open process, and there's no accountability."

    Click here to read the rest of the press release

    State Senator Randy Brogdon (R-Tulsa) sponsors HB1429 in the Senate!

    February 16, 2005: We have very good news to report today! State Senator Randy Brogon (R-Tulsa) has stepped forward to sponsor HB1429 in the Senate.

    As the momentum is growing, the next step in this struggle is to get the bill out of the House and Senate committees. We know the bill is in rules committee on the house side (we don't know yet where it will be on the senate side), so for now keep calling/writing/visiting your state legislators, particularly if they are on the House rules committee.

    Fight to get HB1429 out of committee!

    February 9, 2005: OBAR encourages all supporters of fair ballot access to contact the members of the House Rules Committee (particularly if you are a consitutient) to ask them to send the bill to the house floor for passage.

    Click here to view a list of the committee members and their contact infomation

    State Rep. Marian Cooksey introduces bill to reform ballot access

    February 9, 2005: State. Rep. Marian Cooksey (R-Edmond) has recently introduced HB 1429, a bill that would significantly reform Oklahoma's highly oppressive balllot access laws.

    HB 1429 sets the required signature count for party recognition back to 5,000 (the number required in Oklahoma from 1924-1974), along with changing the number of votes required for party-status retention, and the requirements for being placed on the ballot as a candidate for President.

    The bill is currently in the rules committee and needs a state senate co-sponsor.

    To view the bill in PDF format click here

    OBAR publishes 2004 Legislative Information Packet

    December 1, 2004: The Oklahoma Ballot Access Reform coalition has published and distributed an informational packet to all members of the Oklahoma state legislature. The packet includes the following information:

    1. Comparison of the number of 2004 Presidential candidate choices available to voters in each state
    2. Comparison of Oklahoma's ballot laws with those of its neighbors
    3. Frequently Asked Questions about Ballot Access Reform
    4. Full text of The Fair Ballot Access and Maximum Voter Choice Bill

    To view the packet in PDF format click here

    Oklahoma: The Banana Republic State

    Oklahoma requires more per capita signatures for ballot access than any other state in the country.

    Oklahoma required only 5,000 signatures for ballot access from statehood until 1974, and never had more than four candidates for president on the ballot.

    Oklahoma only requires 5,000 signatures(1,000 from each Congressional District) or a $5,000 filing fee for candidates on presidential primary ballots, even though presidential primaries are not legally binding.

    Oklahoma had just two candidates on the ballot for President in 2004. Every other state had at least three. The six states with just three candidates also allow write-in votes.

    No alternative party has ever even attempted to petition for ballot access for a gubernatorial election year.

    Since the current law was enacted in 1974, the Libertarian Party has successfully petitioned for ballot access three times and the Reform Party has done so twice. Members of the Green, Southern, Constitution, and Natural Law Parties, as well as Libertarians, have all run for office as Independents.

    Independent candidates invariably get more votes than candidates running as members of third parties, although third party labels give voters more information about the candidates than the Independent label does.

    A registered Libertarian was prevented from running for office at all in 2004 because he was not registered with a recognized party nor was he an Independent.

    More choices on the ballot will result in greater participation in the political process, more dialogue on issues of the day, and more viewpoints involved in the discussion. Additionally, more choices makes positive campaigning easier and negative campaigning harder.

    Bring democratic elections to Oklahoma! Enact ballot access reform now!

    NOTA4Oklahoma Campaign announces official election results

    November 16th, 2004

    Tbe NOTA4Oklahoma campaign has confirmed with the Oklahoma State Election Board that the official election results show that there were 9,400 undervotes (ballots cast in Oklahoma that did not indicate a vote for either Bush or Kerry for President), which do not include the results of provisional ballots cast that may later be counted.

    Based on Oklahoma's record voter turnout of 1,474,304*, the number of undervotes would be 0.64%.

    * NOTE: Our number of 1,474,404 is different than the turnout numbers used by the media. The media says the turnout was only 1,463,758 (the number of votes cast for Bush and Kerry), which ignores the number of undervotes (9,400) and 1,146 overvotes (overvotes are ballots where the voter marked two selections for one race).

    We only get TWO choices?

    Oklahoma voters were only TWO choices for President this year... Bush or Kerry.

    How can this be?

    As of election day 2004...

    • 49 states have Libertarian nominee Michael Badnarik on the ballot
    • 36 states have Independent/Reform candidate Ralph Nader on the ballot
    • 28 states have Green Party nomineee David Cobb on the ballot
    • 37 states have Constitution Party nominee Michael Peroutka on the ballot
    • 15 states have Socialist Workers Party nominee Roger Calero on the ballot
    Yet, we don't get these choices in Oklahoma. Why?

    It's not for lack of third party activity. Libertarians and Greens both have strong state-wide parties and numerous local chapters. Other national parties have members here in Oklahoma as well.

    The problem is our election laws. Oklahoma has arguably the most undemocratic ballot access laws in America with petitioning requirements of 51,781 signatures to secure full party ballot access and 37,027 signatures to place a Presidential candidate.

    Click here to find out how you can join the campaign for FAIR and DEMOCRATIC ballot acccess laws.