Oklahoma should make ballot access easier for third parties
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This year, the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, was on the ballot in 47 states. At a rally here in October, Johnson said candidates shouldn't be kept off the ballot “in an attempt to simply foster and continue to prop up the two-party system. The people deserve the ability to vote for the candidate of their choice.”
During an appearance in Oklahoma City two years ago, consumer advocate Ralph Nader said our state's ballot access rules are among the nation's toughest. “A competitive democracy with multiple candidates, multiple ideas, multiple backgrounds and multiple agendas is going to bring more people out to vote and we're going to have a better political process,” he said.
Donna Bebo, who ran as a Democrat for the 4th Congressional District seat, put it this way: “Candidates should not win simply because of who they keep off the ballot. They should win on their own merit.” She has a point.
In conservative Oklahoma, Republicans enjoy firm and growing control of the Legislature. They have nothing to fear from providing a voice to others, by lowering some of the significant hurdles now in place for third-party candidates trying to get on our ballot.
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