Ballot access bill divides Oklahoma Republicans
House Bill 1508 would make it easier for smaller political parties to get on Oklahoma ballots.
House Bill 1058 would lower the number of petition signatures needed to get a political party on the ballot to 22,500. It was authored by Republican Rep. Charles Key.
But the party's state chairman opposes the bill and a Republican chairman of a Senate committee decided not to hear it.
“I think the Republican Party is doing very well. Voter registration numbers are up, and we're winning elections from the courthouse all the way up to statewide,” state Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell said. “If it ain't broke, don't fix it.”
Currently, political parties must submit petitions with at least 5 percent of the total votes cast in the last general election for governor or president in order to appear on a ballot, which has made it difficult for smaller political parties to appear on ballots.
Based on last year's election, 51,732 signatures would be required this year for a new political party to be on a future ballot.
Tea Party role debated
HB 1058 passed the House, but was not heard in the Senate Rules Committee before last week's deadline for House bills to be heard in Senate
Pinnell said he expressed concerns about the bill to the committee's chairman, Sen. Rob Johnson, R-
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