HB 1058 modifies the requirement for establishing a political party from requiring the signatures of registered voters equal to at least five percent of the total votes cast in the last General Election to requiring the signatures of at least 22,500 registered voters.
26 O.S. § 1-108 states "petitions seeking recognition of a political party, in a form to be prescribed by the Secretary of the State Election Board, shall be filed with such Secretary, bearing the signatures of registered voters equal to at least five percent (5%) of the total votes cast in the last General Election either for Governor or for electors for President and Vice President. Each page of such petitions must contain the names of registered voters from a single county."
Five percent of those who cast a vote for Governor in 2008 in Oklahoma are equal to 51,739. That is the number of valid signatures that must be turned in to the Secretary of the Election Board. In order to ensure that we get the required amount of valid signatures, the OKLP Chair has set a goal of 64,000, providing a 25% cushion.
The law was changed to a percentage requirement in 1974 from a requirement of 5,000 signatures. The OKLP has worked feverishly with Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform to return the law to its former requirement. In HB 1058, OKLP and OBAR asked for 5,000 initial recognition (with 22,500 to maintain Ballot Access) as a political party in the state of Oklahoma. HB 1058 passed in the House last legislative session and was referred to the Rules Committee in the Senate.
The bill passed the house and will be headed to the governor soon.