HB2134 was the preferred ballot access bill this year. It would have returned Oklahoma to its pre-1974 requirement of 5,000 signatures to form a new party. After what seemed like an eternity, HB2134 finally came to a vote late on the last day it could be heard.
Representative Jon Echols pushed the bill on the floor and introduced an amendment to it. It is unclear exactly why he amended the bill as he has not responded to that inquiry just yet. This amendment changed the signature requirement to 2.5% of the last general election. While not the 5,000 signatures we wanted. it is greatly improved from the current situation.
When it came to a vote, the bill passed on a vote of 74 to 11. All eleven Representatives voting against it are Republicans. They are as follows: Representatives Biggs, Jackson, Nollan, Schwartz, Cockroft, Johnson, O’Donnell, Trebilcock, Derby, McCall and Sanders. If any of these Representatives are your District Rep, you may want to have words with them. We have sent emails to them to ask them why they voted against it and are waiting for their replies.
At this point, the bill goes to the Senate for its vote. Last year, the Senate passed SB668. That bill simply removed the Presidential elections from the calculation. So it is imperative that we push the Senate to hear this bill. Senator Marlatt is the principal Senate Author of HB2134 and will be the one who will be pushing it to be heard.