Senator Justice Introduces Bill To Remove Electors From The Ballot

Oklahoma is one of only five states that still lists the electors for president on the ballot along with the candidates for president and vice president. There is no reason to list this information as voters do not vote on the electors, but rather on the candidate those electors have sworn to represent. While the information is something that should be documented and made available for those voters that want the information, most voters just don’t care.

After last year’s decrease in signatures for new party petitions, Oklahoma will see an increase in political parties, and thus candidates for President, on the ballot. With more candidates on the ballot, it is conceivable that a large portion of the ballot will be dedicated to something that most voters do not care about and is not needed. This will make the ballot confusing for many voters.

To fix this, Senator Justice has introduced SB1108 which removes the names of Presidential electors from the ballot and requires that those names be made available on printed material near the voting booths for those who want the information.

This is a good bill in that it solves one of the problems that make the ballot long and confusing. It also has a high likelihood of advancing this year as Senator Justice is the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee. We hope that the Senate and the House will pass this bill this year so that the elections will be cleaner and easier for Oklahoma voters.

UPDATE: Call Senator Justice’s Office In Support Of HB2181

Update: The call blast when great yesterday. We received quite a few reports of calls going straight to voicemail, which means that we had a lot of people calling. Thank you all so much.

Unfortunately, Senator Justice did not schedule a Rules Committee meeting for this week. That means that we have one week left for HB2181 to be heard in committee. We plan on holding a similar event for both Monday and Tuesday of next week (April 6 and 7). So be prepared to do it all over again. We will get this bill passed to the Senate Floor.

Original post: We need your help convincing Senator Ron Justice, the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, to let HB2181 be heard in committee.

What is HB2181?
HB2181 reduces the petition requirement to form a new political party in Oklahoma. Current law requires new parties to gather a number of signatures equal to 5% of the last general election vote count. For 2016, the petition requirement to form a new party is 41,188 signatures. If HB2181 were to pass this year, that requirement would be reduced to 1% of the last governor’s election, or 8,249 signatures. This will result in more political parties for voters to register under, more Presidential candidates for voters to choose from and a greater pool of political ideas in this state.

We have 2 weeks left for HB2181 to be heard in committee. If it is not heard and passed by April 9, the bill would be dead and we won’t see any changes to Oklahoma’s laws for another 2 years, and Oklahoma will most likely be the only state in the nation with 2 candidates for President for 4 elections in a row in 2016.

So what do you need to do? On Tuesday March 31 starting at 10am and ending at 12pm (noon), we want to keep Senator Justice’s phone ringing with calls in support of HB2181. For two straight hours, we want nothing to happen in his office if it does not involve a phone call about that bill.

What is his phone number?
(405) 521-5537

Please remember when you call to be courteous and kind. Senator Justice’s Assistant is named Linda Terrill. She is a real nice woman and will be doing her job. And that job will be really tough for 2 hours. Don’t make it more difficult.

Also, be patient. If you don’t get through on the phone right away, hang up and try again after 30 seconds or a minute. Each phone call shouldn’t take too long.

What should you say?

First, tell him your name.

Then, tell Senator Justice that you support HB2181 and you want it heard in committee and passed to the Senate Floor.

That is all you have to say. If you want to say more, keep it relevant to the bill. For example, you can tell them that you support the bill because you want more political parties to choose from in Oklahoma. Or you can say that you want more choices for president than the options given to us by the Republican and Democratic parties.

Most importantly, tell him that HB2181 must pass.

So to recap:

What? Call Senator Justice’s office. (405) 521-5537
When? March 31, 2015 from 10am to 12pm (noon)
Why? In support of HB2181.

Read HB2181 here.

If you want to learn more about why Oklahoma needs to reform its ballot access laws, please read our brief.

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