Lessons Learned From FEC’s Presidential Election Results

The Federal Election Commission recently released the official results from the 2012 Presidential Election (PDF). Just this information alone can teach us a lot about the political climate around the country. It also provides us with a few things that we can use to help in our efforts to bring ballot access reform to Oklahoma.

To start off, this report solidifies one fact that we have oft repeated here. Oklahoma is the only state to have limited its voters to two choices for President. This is the third Presidential election in a row that this has happened. The next fewest candidates on any ballot in the US was four candidates. Three states had that low ball, Hawaii, Missouri and South Dakota. That’s right, the next lowest number of candidates on a ballot doubled what was on the Oklahoma ballot.

Here are a few statistics from this report. The median number of candidates on any state ballot counting and not counting Oklahoma is eight. If you look at this on average, the average number of candidates on the ballot, including Oklahoma’s, is 7.92. Without counting Oklahoma, the average number of candidates on the ballot is eight. This means that Oklahoma has limited the number of candidates to a quarter that of the average in the US. The average voter outside of Oklahoma gets six more candidates than we do. That is rather depressing. Continue reading