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Advocates pushing for third party on state ballots taking petition route



After fighting an uphill battle for years, Oklahoma ballot access reformers are hoping to change what they consider the most restrictive laws in the nation. Now, the Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform coalition is taking the vote to the people.

OBAR filed an initiative petition in September to put a new question on the 2008 ballot. Jimmy Cook, vice chair of OBAR, said the petition was revised and to be refiled Oct. 15.

Cook said national Libertarian Party officials are prioritizing ballot reform efforts in Oklahoma.

"This will be the standard by which this kind of thing will be measured from this point forward," said Cook, who also serves as state chair of the Libertarian Party.

The question would ask Oklahoma voters to change the amount of signatures required to form a new political party.

Oklahoma law currently requires signatures equal to 5 percent of the last presidential or gubernatorial vote, which in 2006 meant more than 73,000 signatures. That's 10 times the amount of signatures required in neighboring states. 

"We are looking forward to giving more choice to Oklahoma voters, and with the help of our many supporters, we are confident it will be a success," said former OBAR Chairman Matthew Jones. "Lisa Janssen


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