For Immediate Release, March 21,2016
Oklahoma Officially Recognizes Libertarians, but Gives Short March 31st Deadline for Registered Voters to Re-register
For the first time since 2000, Libertarian Party candidates for state and federal offices will be on the Oklahoma ballot. Oklahoma is the only state in the union that had only two candidates for president on the ballot the last three elections. Today’s official recognition by the state of Oklahoma means more political competition in our state and more choices for Oklahoma voters.
However, Oklahoma law gives very little time for voters registered as Republican, Democrat, or Independent to re-register as Libertarian. The deadline for changing party affiliation is March 31, 2016. Those who re-register as Libertarians will be able to participate in the April 23rd Libertarian Party State Convention. (See details at http://oklahomalp.org/2016-state-convention/)
The deadline for first time voters to register in the Libertarian Party is June 3, 2016. All registered Libertarians and Independents will be able to cast votes for Libertarians in the June 28th statewide primary election. Along with presidential candidates, the Oklahoma Libertarian Party (OKLP) expects to field candidates for state and federal offices for the general election in November 2016.
The deadline for those wanting to run as Libertarians is also March 31st. However, Oklahoma state law allows 15 days for candidates wishing to run in newly recognized political parties. The OKLP remains hopeful that the Oklahoma Attorney General and Election Board will accommodate the 15 day requirement, allowing candidates to register into early April.
OKLP Vice Chair Tina Kelly said, "Oklahoma Libertarians are excited by the prospect of seeing candidates on the ballot that represent us politically. For the most part we don't agree with the direction the old parties have been taking our state and our country. This year there will be principled Liberty options to cast votes for and I expect the electorate to be inspired by that and to re-engage in a big way. "
The leadership of the OKLP would like to acknowledge all those who worked to bring another option to the voters of Oklahoma. A successful petition drive was just the beginning and now our focus will be reaching voters and candidates with the reality of looming deadlines.
This year there will be principled Liberty options to cast votes for and I expect the electorate to be inspired by that and to re-engage in a big way. - Tina Kelly, VC OKLP
ELECTION BOARD PRESS RELEASE: Date: March 21, 2016
CONTACT: State Election Board PIO Bryan Dean,(405) 522-6624 firstname.lastname@example.org
State recognizes Libertarian Party
(Oklahoma City) – Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax announced that the Libertarian Party has been certified as a recognized party in the state Monday after election officials reviewed and approved petitions submitted last month.
The Libertarians gathered 42,182 signatures. Of those, 30,517 were deemed valid. The minimum number needed to certify a new party was 24,745.
“This means Oklahomans can register as members of the Libertarian Party, and candidates can run as Libertarian for all partisan offices in the state,” Ziriax said. “The Libertarian Party also will receive a ballot line for President and Vice President in November’s General Election.”
There is a short window for those who would like to register as Libertarians before the June Statewide Primary and August Runoff Elections. Anyone who is currently registered and wishes to change their affiliation must do so by March 31 for the change to be processed before those elections.
The Libertarian Party has also notified the Secretary of the State Election Board that it will allow Independents to vote in its primary and runoff primary elections.
Those who want to change their affiliation or register as new voters in the Libertarian party must fill out and return a Voter Registration Application Form, which can be downloaded at www.elections.ok.gov. Forms are also available in person at county election boards, tag agencies and other locations.