2007 LEGISLATION: Senate Bill 28 and HB 1359 (introduced Jan. 5, 2007)
Senate Bill 28 By: Sen. Brogdon
House Bill 1359 By: Rep. Cooksey
An Act relating to elections; amending 26 O.S. 2001, Sections 1-108, as last amended by Section 6, Chapter 53, O.S.L. 2004 and 1-109 (26 O.S. Supp. 2006, Section 1-108), which relate to political parties; modifying requirements for recognition and termination of recognition of political parties; amending 26 O.S. 2001, Section 10-101, which relates to nomination of presidential electors; modifying requirement for petitions seeking ballot access for uncommitted candidates; authorizing fee in lieu of petition; and providing an effective date.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
SECTION 1. AMENDATORY 26 O.S. 2001, Section 1-108, as last amended by Section 6, Chapter 53, O.S.L. 2004 (26 O.S. Supp. 2006, Section 1-108), is amended to read as follows:
Section 1-108. A group of persons may form a recognized political party at any time except during the period between June 1 and November 15 of any even numbered year if the following procedure is observed:
1. Notice of intent to form a recognized political party must be filed in writing with the Secretary of the State Election Board at any time except during the period between March 1 and November 15 of any even numbered year.
2. After such notice is filed, petitions seeking recognition of a political party, in a form to be prescribed by the Secretary of the State Election Board, shall be filed with such Secretary, bearing the signatures of five thousand (5,000) registered voters
3. Within thirty (30) days after receipt of such petitions, the State Election Board shall determine the sufficiency of such petitions. If such Board determines there are a sufficient number of valid signatures of registered voters, the party becomes recognized under the laws of the State of Oklahoma with all rights and obligations accruing thereto.
SECTION 2. AMENDATORY 26 O.S. 2001, Section 1-109, is amended to read as follows:
Section 1-109. A. Any recognized political party whose nominee for Governor or nominees for electors for President and Vice President fail to receive at least
B. Any recognized political party that ceases to be recognized under provisions of this section shall be designated as a political organization. Such political organization designation shall terminate four (4) years from the date that the political party ceases to be recognized or when the political organization regains recognition as a political party, whichever is earlier.
SECTION 3. AMENDATORY 26 O.S. 2001, Section 10-101, is amended to read as follows:
Section 10-101. The nominees for Presidential Electors of any recognized political party shall be selected at a statewide convention of said party in a manner to be determined by said party. The nominees for Presidential Electors shall be certified by said party's
1. No later than July 15 of a presidential election year, petitions seeking ballot access for said uncommitted candidates for Presidential Electors, in a form to be prescribed by the Secretary of the State Election Board, shall be filed with said Secretary, bearing the signatures of five thousand (5,000) registered voters
2. Within thirty (30) days after receipt of
SECTION 4. This act shall become effective November 1, 2007.
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.