Only two choices?
Letter to the Oklahoman
April 9th, 2007
I've heard that the Kremlin is requiring all political parties to have 50,000 members to be recognized for elections. A little math shows me that 48,500 valid signatures are needed to get a "third party" on the Oklahoma ballot in 2008. It's amazing that measures taken in Russia, seen by many as a way to squash opposition, are taken as doctrine here in Oklahoma, home of the most restrictive ballot access laws in the nation.
Imagine going to the "Magnificent Mile of Cars" tomorrow and having all of the salesmen on all of the lots offer you the exact same car - but you get to choose whether you want it in red or blue. We allow the people who will control your state and your country to come in only two shades, red and blue. Something needs to change. Compel your representatives to put ballot access in Oklahoma back to where it was from 1907 to 1974. Restore your choice and your voice in the governance of this state and this nation.
Larry Brittain, Guthrie
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 by Smith and Elder), 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.