On February 27, the Senate heard and passed SB668, ballot access reform, on a vote of 42-0. This bill now goes on to the House for consideration. However, the bill was not amended to change the 5% language it current holds. This means that the inconsistency between it and the House version, HB2134, remains. Senator Rob Johnson did acknowledge that disparity and as such requested that the title be stricken before the vote. Unfortunately, that will not help the effort to bring reform to the state.
Richard Prawdzienski of the Oklahoma Libertarian Party commented.
Striking the title devalues the vote of 42-0. Without a title, the bill has to come back to the Senate to have the title placed back on if bill gets a pass vote in the House. If more language is added, it means the bill must be heard in a conference. Many bills in conference die a quiet death.
Having ballot access reform assigned to a conference is one of the fears of many supporters of reform. That had been the fate of all recent attempts that passed the House and Senate. In each of those previous attempts, the Senate part of the conference committee refused to hear the bills and they died.
At this point, we are waiting to hear about progress on HB2134. It has yet to be placed on the agenda for the House. Please contact your Representative and ask them to support HB2134 in its current form.