Over the weekend, Anthony Papillion of Miami had a letter published in the Tulsa World in which he laments the death of HB2134. Despite passing out of the House Rules Committee with no issues, HB2134 was never heard by the House Calendar Committee and thus never voted on by the House.
The Oklahoma Legislature had another opportunity this year to give more Oklahoma voters a voice at the polls. House Bill 2134 would have reduced the number of signatures required to get a new party listed on the ballot from its current high count of 5 percent of active voters to the pre-1974 level of 5,000.
Unfortunately, HB 2134 won’t even be heard this year by the Legislature because lawmakers have much more important bills to hear. Those bills include setting a new price for a one-day fishing license, allowing counties to provide incentives for wellness programs, and declaring part of Oklahoma 81 as a historic bike trail. Yes, all those “important” bills were more important than making sure as many voters as possible had the chance to participate in the electoral process.
Oklahoma voters have shown that they want more choice in their ballot. We’ve shown that we are not happy with the current two-party status quo. Why does the Legislature find it so hard to get that message? Perhaps lawmakers are afraid of giving us too much power so that we have a chance to get rid of them when we go to the polls?
As always, writing letters to the editors of the various newspapers in Oklahoma is one of the easiest ways to spread the word about the need for ballot access reform. Keep them coming.