Democrats open Oklahoma primaries to Independent voters

Ponca City Now - December 9, 2019 3:24 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – Every odd-numbered year, recognized political parties in Oklahoma are required to notify the Secretary of the State Election Board whether or not the party will allow registered Independents to vote in its primary elections.

State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax announced Monday that he has been notified by the Oklahoma Democratic Party that it will allow Independents to vote in its primaries in 2020-2021.

The Oklahoma Republican Party and Oklahoma Libertarian Party have notified Secretary Ziriax that they will close their primaries to Independent voters.

“This means, there is no change for unaffiliated voters in 2020. As has been the case for the past two years, Independent voters may continue to vote in Democratic Party primaries, but not in Republican or Libertarian primaries,” Ziriax said.

Oklahoma is a closed primary state, meaning only registered voters affiliated with a recognized political party may vote in that party’s primary elections. However, state law gives recognized parties the option to open its primaries to registered Independents by notifying the Secretary of the State Election Board between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30 prior to the election year. The Democratic Party notified the Election Board of its decision before the deadline, which extended the deadline to Dec. 15 for the other recognized parties.

Voters can confirm their party affiliation or make changes to their voter registration online using the OK Voter Portal at: elections.ok.gov/OVP.

Secretary Ziriax reminded voters that state law prohibits changes in party affiliation from April 1 through Aug. 31 of even-numbered years. Party changes submitted during this time period are processed and activated on Sept. 1.

For more information on elections in Oklahoma, visit elections.ok.gov.

 

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