Oklahoma Bill to Raise Filing Fees Advances

On April 26, the Oklahoma House passed SB 323, which raises filing fees. The bill also alters the formula for how many signatures are needed in lieu of the filing fee. The number of signatures needed becomes slightly lower for Republicans, slightly higher for Democrats, far higher for Libertarians and any other minor parties who qualify in the future, and much lower for independent candidates. UPDATE: the bill is not through the legislature yet. The House version is slightly different than the Senate version, so it must pass the Senate again, or go to a conference committee. An earlier version of this post said the bill had passed entirely through the legislature. Thanks to E. Zachary Knight for the update.

The old formula for petitions in lieu of filing fee was 4% of the registered voters who were eligible to vote for that candidate in the primary (except that in the case of independents, it was 4% of the number of all registered voters). The new formula pays no attention to how many registered voters there are in each party, and instead is 2% of all the registered voters.

As to the amount of the fees, president rises from $2,500 to $5,000; Governor from $1,500 to $2,000; U.S. Senate from $1,000 to $2,000; U.S. House from $750 to $1,000.

The bill’s provision for signatures in lieu of filing fee is possibly unconstitutional as to candidates from small qualified parties, because they would be forced to seek signatures from people who are not members of their party, even though they are seeking to place themselves on their own party’s primary ballot. In Oklahoma, all parties nominate by primary.

The analysis of the bill prepared for legislators falsely claimed that the number of signatures in lieu of the filing fee would decrease for all candidates. Also, on the floor, the sponsor of the bill falsely claimed that the number of signatures in lieu of the fee would decrease for all candidates. Thanks to E. Zachary Knight for this news.

April 2017 Ballot Access News Print Edition

Ballot Access News
April 1, 2017 – Volume 32, Number 11

This issue was printed on violet paper.


Table of Contents

  1. IOWA REPEAL OF STRAIGHT-TICKET PASSES BOTH HOUSES
  2. OKLAHOMA SENATE PASSES TWO BALLOT ACCESS BILLS
  3. MARYLAND HOUSE PASSES ACCESS BILL
  4. TENNESSEE ACCESS BILL ADVANCES
  5. NEBRASKA ACCESS BILL ADVANCES
  6. NEW BALLOT ACCESS IMPROVEMENT BILLS
  7. NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE PLAN BILLS
  8. NORTH CAROLINA MOVES INDEPENDENT PETITION DEADLINE FROM JUNE TO APRIL
  9. NEW ACCESS LAWSUITS
  10. FEC NOT LIKELY TO HELP WITH DEBATES
  11. MAINE HEARING DATE FOR RANKED-CHOICE
  12. U.S. SUPREME COURT AND OPEN PRIMARIES
  13. RESOURCE FOR BALLOT ACCESS ATTORNEYS
  14. U.S. SUPREME COURT AND PARTISAN GERRYMANDERING
  15. ILLINOIS LIBERTARIANS WIN CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWSUIT
  16. UTAH RANKED CHOICE VOTING BILL
  17. ALABAMA LAWSUIT ON SPECIAL U.S. SENATE ELECTION THIS YEAR
  18. WHICH STATES GIVE GROUPS TWO METHODS TO BECOME A QUALIFIED PARTY?
  19. WRITE-IN CANDIDATE ELECTED TO PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATURE
  20. ROCKY DE LA FUENTE SEEKS REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY
  21. COFOE BOARD MEETING
  22. WORKING FAMILIES PARTY WILL ATTEMPT TO WIN SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE ELECTION IN CONNECTICUT
  23. 2018 PETITIONING
  24. FRANCE HOLDS FIVE-CANDIDATE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
  25. NETHERLANDS ELECTION
  26. SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL

Georgia Legislature Adjourns Without Passing Any Ballot Access Relief

The Georgia legislature has adjourned for the year, and neither of the bills to improve ballot access made any headway. They are HB 133, which cuts the number of signatures for independent candidates and new parties; and SB 112, which eliminates all mandatory ballot access petitions.

However, Georgia has a two-year legislative session, so they might make progress in 2018. Now that the state has lost the lawsuit over the number of signatures for minor party and independent presidential candidates, it seems likely some bill will pass next year.

President Trump Attacks Debt Relief for Puerto Rico; Could Influence Upcoming June 11 Vote on Independence or Statehood

On April 27, President Donald Trump tweeted opposition to bailing out Puerto Rico from its financial crisis. See this story. The story does not mention that on June 11, Puerto Rico voters will be asked to choose between independence (or virtual independence), or statehood. The option for the status quo is not on the ballot. It is difficult to predict how Trump’s statements might affect the vote.