OBAR News Roundup: Thursday August 15, 2013

There are always interesting stories happening throughout the year that interest those of us seeking election reform. Here are the news stories I have found over the last couple of days.

Rep. Lankford Answers Questions At Townhall

Representative James Lankford received a mixed reaction during a townhall meeting. He answered questions regarding the NSA spying and about illegal immigration.

Low Voter Turnout in Tulsa County District 3 Race

Less than 5,000  of 123,000 people eligible to vote in Tuesday’s election for Tulsa County District 3 Commissioner turned out to vote. These 3.8% of the voting population ended up electing Ron Peters to office. It is a shame that local politics gets so little citizen action.

The Third Party Catch-22

Reason writes an editorial on the catch-22 facing many third party candidates for office. They are often denied access to debates against their competition because they have low support by the public and they can’t get more support until the people can actually hear from them. Additionally, many news sources will quote people asking for a third option but never report on the available third options.

Pennsylvania Editorial Not Happy With Election Laws

A recent Pennsylvania editorial speaks out against Pennsylvania’s election laws regarding the challenging of candidate and party petitions. In Pennsylvania, anyone can challenge a petition and a court must review it. Additionally, the petitioning party must foot the bill for court costs and legal fees of the petition challenger if they lose the challenge. The editorial suggests switching to a system where only actual candidates can challenge the petition of other candidates.

FEC Releases 2012 Senate and Congressman Election Results

We will be going through this new data to see what we can learn. But if you are curious, you can view all the data the Federal Election Commission has on the national races from 2012.

Piedmont City Councilman Successfully Recalled

It would be nice to have the ability to recall candidates in state office, but at least some localities have that luxury in Oklahoma. Piedmont City Councilman Vernon Woods was recalled and replaced by Bobby Williamson.

Jesse Jackson Jr. Gets 30 Months in Jail

Jesse Jackson Jr. received a sentence of 30 months in jail for the misuse of over $750,000 in campaign contributions. His wife will be getting 12 months in jail. They will serve their sentences consecutively as they have children at home and the court felt the need to have at least one parent with them during the sentences.

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