Yesterday marked yet another sad day, in a long line of sad days in Oklahoma.
I was in the room and saw it with my own eyes as 10 of our state Senators voted against Randy Brogden’s bill to reform Oklahoma’s horridly undemocratic ballot access laws. I’m going to email the Senate Rules Committee Staff and Chair to make sure I got the votes correct, but as soon as I get confirmation I’ll post the names of those who deserve shame for voting against democracy and those who deserve praise for taking a stand for equality and fairness.
For now though, I must say I have tremendous gratitude for Republican Randy Brogden bringing the bill to the floor. I was very struck by his eloquence in arguing on behalf of the bill. I was also struck by the silence of the opponents of the bill. Most didn’t want to go on the record as opposing democracy so instead they just were silent during debate and then let their votes hit. (the only comments I recalled was one guy cracking a joke about whether Randy would support his bill, and another person who was worried if the ballot access retention standards were based on the state or federal vote count)
I was stunned and outraged at this point and decided to speak my mind (even if I was disruptive), and told the committee, quite loudly as I was storming out of the room, “It’s good to see that Oklahoma isn’t a democracy.” — Not my most eloquent moment for sure, but I had to say something. I wanted the “Gang of 10” to know what they had done.
The fight isn’t over though. I don’t know what it will take, but somehow these laws have to change, as I frankly don’t see the point in voting anymore as long as you don’t get to vote for people of other political parties.
For more information on this issue, please check out the good folks at OBAR (Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform)