This past Friday, the Libertarian Party of Oklahoma filed the necessary form needed to begin collecting signatures toward ballot access for their party. The Libertarian Party has not been a ballot qualified party since 2000 and if they can succeed, they will be able to place their candidate for President on the ballot in 2016.
According to their press release, they are aware of the difficulty ahead of them.
The Libertarian Party of Oklahoma recognizes the fact that current Oklahoma law requires us to gather well over 41,000 valid signatures. This process requirement, while the lowest raw signature requirement in Oklahoma in over 20 years, is still one of the most strict party petitioning laws in the US.
They also retain hope that the legislature will pass HB2181 which would greatly reduce the signatures they need to gather.
The OKLP is starting this process in the hope that the Legislature does something in hasn’t been able to do since 1974, voluntarily reduce the petition burden for new political parties. This year, Speaker Hickman has introduced HB2181 which would reduce the number of signatures needed to form a new party from the current 5% of the last general election to 1% of the last election for governor. We support this bill and are seeking its passage into law this year.
If HB2181 is passed and signed into law, our petition requirement would fall from 41,000 signatures to just over 8,200 signatures. This brings Oklahoma closer in line with the national and regional averages for party petitioning.
They are also asking for help in gathering signatures. They have set up a page with instructions on how signatures need to be gathered on their website.
We are excited by this news and wish the Libertarian Party, and any other party that is going to seek ballot access the best of luck.