Ballot access LTE in the Edmond Sun

OK Greens Co-Chair James Branum had a letter to the editor published in the Edmund Sun:

Cooksey’s bill would make state elections more open

Every year at the ballot box we all face tough decisions, but in the end we are in the voting booth alone with our conscience and our judgment. It is in that voting booth that we are able to express our own viewpoint without fear. It is in the voting booth that every voice should be heard.

Last November I was denied the right to vote for the candidate of my choice.

For myself as Mennonite and a believer in Jesus’ message of peace, I wanted to vote for a Presidential candidate who would bring an end to the war in Iraq.

But instead I was given only two choices – Bush and Kerry, who both were strong defenders of the war. If I had lived in another state, I could have voted my conscience. In fact in every other state of the union, there would have been at least one other choice for President on the ballot. However, since Oklahoma doesn’t have democratic election laws, we get only two choices.

It is time to change the law. HB 1429 (introduced by St. Rep. Marian Cooksey R-Edmond and St. Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Tulsa) would restore democracy to our state by lowering the petitioning requirement for new political parties from 70,000+ signatures to 5,000 (the state’s requirement from 1924-1974).

Democracy means that you get to vote for the candidate of your own choice. If you think it is time that we have this right in Oklahoma, please call you state legislator and ask them to support HB 1429.

For more information on this issue please go to http://www.okballotchoice.org

James M. Branum
Oklahoma City

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