“What Are Legislators Afraid Of?” Letter to News OK

Today, Rena Guay had a letter published on NewsOK showing her support for ballot access reform. She also calls out the current efforts for not going far enough and allowing for write-ins.

We agree. Oklahoma is one of the few states that do not allow for write-in candidates for any election. This needs to change. When people do not see a candidate they can support on the ballot, they would rather stay home than vote for someone they don’t support. Allowing for write-ins would provide those people and opportunity to cast a vote for the person they support while at the same time declaring their no confidence vote in the named candidates.

I agree with E. Zachary Knight (Your Views, Feb. 6) that Oklahoma needs ballot access reform. However, Knight didn’t go far enough, and neither do proposed changes to ballot access from the Legislature. In addition to reducing the number of signatures needed to start a new party, Oklahomans need the right to write in candidates on the ballot, like 42 other states. Other impediments to access, and thus an absence of real democracy, remain.

What are our legislators afraid of? The voters who put them in office to begin with? This isn’t some radical left-wing agenda that Oklahoma conservatives need to stave off. This is democracy! If the policymakers at the Capitol are going to continue this ridiculous stonewalling on ballot reform, they need to offer Oklahomans a good explanation. In the meantime, those citizens should contact their representatives and tell them to start making these commons-sense, democratic changes to Oklahoma law and bring us into the modern era of ballot access and voting rights.

Rena Guay, Oklahoma City