I got this email back from State Rep. Wallace Collins in response to my email asking him to support ballot access reform. Stunning to see a politician state straight up that new political parties should have not have the right to exist. I urge anyone who lives in his district to vote for someone else in the next election…
Dear Mr. Branum– Thank you for your email regarding ballot access. Under current law, Oklahoma has a closed primary system, which means that only party members get to vote in the party primaries. I agree with that system. All registered voters can vote in the general election, regardless of how you are registered. I’m sure you already know this. I believe that a person wanting to change the system should work within their preferred party, rather than try to start a new party. As you know, there are provisions for an independent candidate to run, which is fine with me.
If you are a member of the “Green Party” I think you should look at which other party is closest to your beliefs, and work within that party to promote your beliefs. For people that want to start other parties, and make our ballots accessible to any and all segments that want to start splinter groups, I would ask you to look at Italy, and compare them to the USA. Since World War II, Italy has formed about 150 different governments, where we have only had one in our 233 years of existence. Italy has ballot access to about anyone, and is very fragmented, usually needing coalitions to form a majority government. I happen to think our system is better, even though I do believe we have had some scandal in our experience.
I do believe you do have a choice in Oklahoma, as I have had two elections with a third party candidate in the race.
I happen to believe that the Green Movement is a good thing, but I believe the supporters can find candidates within the current system. As an independent, you can only vote on someone else’s choice of a candidate, you don’t get to help pick the candidate.
Thank you again for your email and your input. Wallace