While not as easy as this past election year, petitioning requirements for the coming 2014 election season will be easier than it was for the 2010 election year. This is thanks to the lower voter turnout compared to previous presidential elections.
Oklahoma requires a petition signed by 5% of the last vote cast (for the office at the top of the ballot) to get a newly-qualifying party on the ballot. The number of voters voting for President in Oklahoma declined in 2012, compared to 2008. Also, the presidential vote in 2008 was lower in Oklahoma than it had been in 2004. This is somewhat surprising, because Oklahoma is not losing population.
For 2014, the state requires 66,744 signatures. While this is overwhelmingly burdensome, it is easier than the 2010 requirement, which was 73,134.
That is a far cry more than the 51,739 that the 2012 election required. Even with that 15,000 fewer requirement, this past election year saw a single political party earn ballot access, while several more failed to meet even that lower threshold. Which leaves the likelihood of any new parties gaining access for the gubernatorial election very unlikely.
The one positive to come from this is this evidence of the hardships new parties have gaining access to the ballot. If even under the lower requirements following a gubernatorial election it is near impossible to gain access, how much more impossible it is following a presidential election. If you look back through the years, you will see that the only times a new party has been able to gain access is in years following gubernatorial elections.
Hopefully, as we move into the new election cycle, we can use these truths and finally get reform passed in the State Legislature. Something this state desperately needs.