Subscribe to OK Politechs

Enter your email address to subscribe.



Open Primaries In Oklahoma

Oklahoma State Representatives Rusty Farley and Dustin Roberts, both Republicans, have filed separate bills that would allow Independents and members of differing political parties to vote in primary and runoff elections in certain circumstances.  Rep. Farley has filed HB1055 and Rep. Roberts has filed HB1038.  Both bills appear to have the exact same text:
If a recognized political party has two or more nominees for an office, no other recognized political party has a nominee for the office, and no person registered as an Independent pursuant to Section 4-112 of this title is a candidate for the office, all registered voters eligible to vote for that office, regardless of whether the voters are registered as members of the recognized political party having candidates for the office, are registered as members of another recognized political party, or are registered as Independents, shall be allowed to vote in the Primary Election and, if a Runoff Primary Election is necessary, in the Runoff Primary Election.   
Basically, if this is enacted, a primary election with two or more Republican candidates and no Democrat or Independent candidates would be open to all registered voters.  Registered Democrat and Independent voters would be allowed to vote in the Republican primary and, if necessary, the runoff.  The same would apply if the parties were reversed.
I asked Matt Pinnell, Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, for his thoughts on these bills. He replied he will be addressing them with his executive committee and state committee this Saturday and would be issuing a statement soon after.Update – January 28, 2011

Matt Pinnell has informed me neither the Oklahoma Republican Party nor the State Committee will be supporting these bills. 

Leave a Reply