Ballot access lobbying at Capitol

The Oklahoma Ballot Access Reform coalition, which includes Greens, distributed informational packets to the Oklahoma legislators today. The coalition is seeking to change laws that keep third parties in Oklahoma from having ready access to the political process, and hopes to get sponsors for a proposed ballot access bill from both houses. Participant James Branum filed this report:

The distribution of the packets went reasonably well today. My friend Scott (a law student and republican supporter of this cause) and myself went to the offices, leaving the packets with either the secretary of the legislators when they were there. I didn’t get in too many conversations unfortunately with the legislators themselves, but I did get to visit a bit Senator Tom Lamb, a newly elected Republican (and OCU Law student). He seemed not terribly interested but said he would read the info.

I am going to get as many other fellow L-students to talk to him though to see if he will co-sponsor the bill. If nothing else, maybe he’ll agree to co-sponsor the bill if he can be convinced that the law won’t hurt anything.

Also while up there I did go ahead and give copies of the packets to the folks in the pressroom. I told them that we had given copies out to the legislators today and were hoping to have more news soon on a bill. The Journal Record’s reporter quizzed me some more on the sponsor situation and I told them that I didn’t know of anyone who has committed to carry the bill yet but we hope to have someone committed soon and will do a press release around the 10th if we do get a bill introduced.

As far as The Oklahoman went, I had a really good conversation with John Greiner (capitol bureau reporter who wrote about our Cobb protest drive a few months back) about what our bill would do and why we are working for it. I don’t know if we’ll get a story yet or not but I am certainly he’ll do a story if we get the bill introduced.

So now it is time to start the phone calls. Let’s get all of our friends, party members, etc on the phones to let the legislators know that we want them to reform ballot access. Lots of these legislators won’t read these packets but at least they’ll know what the topic is on. Then if they get calls after that, then maybe they’ll go back and read the packets and see that this issue is important and something the public wants.

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Oklahoma third parties create ballot access coalition

Members of the Green Party of Oklahoma are joining with other “third party” members, Libertarian Party and Constitution Party, to work cooperatively to reform Oklahoma’s repressive ballot access laws.

Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform, or OBAR will seek to have a bill introduced in the 2005 session to address the issue. A web site and listserv have been created to facilitate the work and all interested parties, regardless of political affiliation, are invited to join the coalition.


OBAR Website

OBAR Email listserv

James Branum, OK Greens co-Chair, Belinda Silverstar, OK Greens Secretary, along with Green Country Greens Joni LeViness and Valerie Ackerman joined members of the Libertarian and Constitution Parties in a meeting in Stroud to kick off the coalition.

The group intends to push for a bill in the next legislative session addressing the issue.

Oklahoma third parties protest election shutout

The Green and Libertarian Parties, united in opposition to Oklahoma’s restrictive ballot access laws, protested on election day in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Green Country Greens Joni LeViness and Jean MacMahon, and Oklahoma Co. Green James Branum called for voters to vote for NOTA, None of the Above, by leaving the presidential slot blank on their ballot.

See press release on NOTA campaign.

OU Daily story on third-party ballot access

On election day, Nov. 2, The Oklahoma Daily, the student newspaper at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, published a story on the shut-out of third parties from the ballot in the state. Daily staff writer Sarah Waldrop interviewed Oklahoma Green Party co-chair James Branum for the article, which is available online.

Third-party candidates not on ballot

Some people will not vote for any candidate due to lack of choice.