GPOK To Submit Signatures For Party Recognition, Protest Current Laws

ON EVE OF PETITION DEADLINE, PARTY LEADERS WILL HIGHLIGHT URGENT NEED FOR BALLOT-ACCESS REFORM

OKLAHOMA CITY – With hands tied in protest, the GPOK will submit its petition signatures for party recognition to the Oklahoma Election Board at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Though short of the required 25,000 signatures, the party wants its petitions on record to exemplify the continued exclusion of alternative political parties from the democratic process in Oklahoma.

The official signature count will be available after the March 1 primaries.

“Our hands are tied,” said Rachel Jackson, state facilitator of the GPOK Cooperative Council. ”The current ballot access laws not only keep us off the ballot, they prevent us from building a party by making it impossible to register voters as Greens and run candidates. While last year’s reform measure was a great improvement, the law remains an unjust burden for fledgling new political parties in the state.”

The GPOK is following several reform measures making headway this legislative session. Senate Bill 896, authored by Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City), passed unanimously in the Senate Rules Committee and is now headed to the floor for a vote. SB 896 would lower the percentage of votes needed by candidates for governor or president to remain a recognized political party. As it stands, the bill would change the requirement from 10 percent to percent.

“We applaud these current efforts by our legislators to give Oklahoma voters more options on Election Day,” Jackson said.

Other groups, like the Oklahoma Libertarian Party and Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform coalition, are also lending their support for such reforms.

“The truth is that ballot-access laws undermine the fundamental principles of democracy,” said OBAR spokesman Micah Gamino. “The theory that ballots will be overcrowded with candidates without them is a myth, when you look at the facts. The state requires only a filing fee to get on the ballot as an Independent candidate for all offices except for president, and crowded ballots and ‘spoiler’ candidates haven’t been a problem here. Oklahoma’s ballot restrictions target the right of citizens to form new political parties, for no other reason than to safeguard our artificial, Republicratic, two-party system.”

Future activities include the organization of training events for citizen lobbyists to support this year’s reform measures. The GPOK also plans to launch another petition drive immediately following the November election.

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ATTENTION ALL GPOK SUPPORTERS

The March 1 deadline to file petition signatures to get the Green Party on the 2016 ballot is right around the corner!

By law, all petitions must be submitted to the state election board at the same time – in one, big bundle. So if you have collected ANY signatures for this effort, please mail your petition forms to the following address:

GPOK
3375 E. Lindsey St.
Norman, OK 73071

Please note that every line of your form does not need a signature for the petition to count. We can accept forms containing a single signature.

If you haven’t petitioned, you can still grab a few before March 1. Just ask your family and friends!

Download form here and remember to write “Green Party” in the blank at the top-left of the petition form. In the blank at the top-right, put the county where the voter is registered. Then sign your name as “circulator” at the bottom of the form. (NOTE: Circulators are permitted to sign their own petition.)

With sincerest appreciation,

Micah Gamino, Secretary
GPOK Cooperative Council

Oklahoma Greens promote ballot access at the 2007 Peace Festival in OKC

2007 Peacefest table

The Green Party table at the 2007 Peace Festival in Oklahoma City on Nov. 10 was a busy place, as signatures were collected on the ballot access petition. GP members, mostly from Oklahoma County, staffed the table and reported that 146 names were added to petitions.

The petition drive ends on January 14, 2008. For more info about the effort, see okvoterchoice.org

In photo: Randy Smith, Rachel Jackson and James M. Branum.

(photo re-uploaded after server move, 7/2012)

Tulsa Run opportunity for climate awareness and ballot access reform

Jean McMahon as polar bear in the 2007 Tulsa Run

Oklahoma Green Jean McMahon has been doing outstanding work in a very unique way: attending public events in a polar bear costume. The outfit dramatically illustrates the issue of global warming and gets lots of notice wherever Jean wears it.

Today it was the Tulsa Run, for which Jean has been training for over a month. “As soon as I arrived at the starting line,” Jean reports, “Mayor Kathy Taylor came trotting over to say, ‘Hi, remember I saw you at the climate report at TU (University of Tulsa)’.”

Jean and fellow Green Huti Reynolds also collected 42 signatures for the Oklahoma Ballot Reform initiative.

The Tulsa World reports that an Edmond man won the race. We suspect that the polar bear running and petitioning through the city’s streets won a few points from onlookers and run participants alike.

Green candidate Branum rides in 2006 OBS Streak, promoting campaign

Taken from: J. M. Branum campaign website

These pictures are from the OBS Streak (Oklahoma Bicycle Society ride) that I participated in. I rode the pedicab (using our new campaign/GPOK advertisements) in the 15 mile ride. I did think about riding the 30 mile, but around 10 miles into the race I was really glad I stuck with the 15 because the pedicab did wear me out more than I would have expected.

By the way, the second shot is super-blurry because my digital camera at this point was having some condensation problems.


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