Jul 29, 2010

OK: Pirate Party Stands Up Against Closed Primaries

From the Oklahoma Pirate Party blog:

Today Democrats and Republicans across Oklahoma are turning to the polls to pick the candidates for their respective parties. Democrats pick Democrats, Republicans pick Republicans, and everybody else is well aware that they are not welcome. Oklahoma suffers from the horrible combination of having a closed primary, as well as the most restrictive ballot access laws of the nation.

Members of the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Socialist Party, the Constitution Party, and of course the Pirate Party, are unable to show their party affiliation when running for any office in Oklahoma. There might be other third parties present in Oklahoma, but they all share the same fate. I am sure that there are also many true Independents in this great state, and they proudly run for office with the label “Independent” on the ballot to show that they have shed the restraints that come with a party affiliation. But many others are proud members of the third parties that seek to make a difference in Oklahoma. Our labels mark our ideals, our convictions, and our goals. Yet the Elephant and the Donkey show bipartisanship when it comes to keeping competition off the ballot.

In addition to keeping Independents off the ballot, Oklahoma has also made it very clear that we are not welcome during the primary season. This decision is a double edged sword, keeping democracy away from the voters, and taking away the “independent vote” that could decide the election for either party.

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