The Daily Oklahoman
Letter to the Editor
January 25th, 2007
Out of Line
In the 2004 presidential election, one state gave its voters only two options for the leader of the free world: Oklahoma. If you count the write-in option that Oklahomans are denied as one option, eight states had four options, seven had five, nine had six, 11 had seven, seven had eight, three had nine, three had 10 and our neighbor Colorado allowed 13. We have three grades of gasoline to choose from at the pump. How is it we have but two options when we vote for the most powerful office in the world?
The primary reason for the limited choice is Oklahoma's restrictive ballot access regulations that are way out of line with the national norm. We have a chance to remedy this situation. Senate Bill 28 and House Bill 1359 would return our ballot access requirements to where they were until 1974.
These bills need a show of public support to make it to the floor. If you believe that more options and more voices in government would lead to better government, voice support for these bills.
Larry Brittain, Guthrie
Get the facts behind SB 28 and HB 1359 with the one page 2007 info sheet (pdf).
Read the text of SB 28 and HB 1359.
More ballot access press coverage here.
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 (with SB 415), 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.