A New Opportunity for Oklahoma’s Independent Voters?

To the Editor:

Congratulations for the political fortitude and judgment shown by a majority of the delegates to the 5th Democratic Congressional District Convention (Oklahoma, Pottawatomie, and Seminole Counties) in passing a resolution to invite registered independents to participate in Democratic primaries and runoff primaries in Oklahoma.

The same resolution passed a month ago at the Oklahoma County Democratic Convention.

Currently, independents are disenfranchised under restrictive state law, and not allowed to vote in primary elections. That same law allows the party chair of any party on the ballot to invite independents to participate in their party’s nominating process. If given this option, independents who vote in the Democratic primaries can be contacted and strongly urged to stay with Democratic candidates in the general election. This will change the political dynamics and allow the Democratic Party to once again be competitive in Oklahoma.

The resolution now goes to the state convention, so a major hurdle remains. I would like for both active candidates for state party chair to announce their intentions on this important issue before the vote on May 30.

Delegates to the state convention should know where the two candidates for state party chair stand on allowing independents to vote in the Democratic primaries, since the person elected would be charged under state law with initiating that independent participation.

Sincerely, Tom Guild, Oklahoma City

Editor’s Note: A emeritus professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, Guild was twice the Democratic party nominee for the Fifth Congressional District seat in Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Seminole Counties. 
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