Committee approves measure modifying declaration of candidacy forms

Mike Seals - February 24, 2021 11:43 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Rules Committee has approved Senate Bill 253, authored by Sen. Dave Rader, R-Tulsa, which would modify declaration of candidacy forms for citizens seeking to hold public office.

The measure would require candidates to provide the date they registered as a voter of the political party they are running for as well as his or her voter registration identification number.

According to Oklahoma statutes, to file as a candidate for nomination by a political party to any state or county office, a person must have been a registered voter of that party for the six-month period immediately preceding the first day of the filing period.

“Many candidates over the years have overlooked the voter registration rule and illegally place themselves on the ballot,” Rader said.  “By requiring the candidate to share when they became a registered voter of the party they are declaring candidacy for, we can weed out any initial issues with candidate viability.”

If a candidate violates this rule, another candidate for the same office can file a contest of candidacy petition with the State Election Board by 5 p.m. on the second day after the closing of the filing period. A hearing is then scheduled before a board to hear the contest and determine eligibility.

“There was a situation during the 2020 election where a candidate was not a registered voter of the party for which they were running six months prior to the filing deadline,” Rader said. “This was not discovered until after the candidacy petition deadline. By adding this requirement to the declaration of candidacy form, we can identify these issues before it’s too late. Requiring a candidate’s voter registration number also adds another layer of transparency so the election board can ensure there’s no issues with the candidate’s party registration.”

The measure now moves to the Senate floor for approval.

For more information, contact:
Sen. Dave Rader at 405-521-5620, or email [email protected]


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