Convention, Part Two: Democrats reconvene to consider allowing Independents to vote in primaries

Democrats from across Oklahoma will be back in Oklahoma City on Saturday, July 25, to discuss important, remaining issues from the previous Convention held on Saturday, May 30.

One of the issues up for a vote on Saturday is whether or not Independent voters should be allowed to vote in future Democratic primaries.

If the resulting vote is in the affirmative, Independents could vote in any Democratic primaries as early as September 2015. This would include any partisan special elections that could be held for vacancies or terms that expire prior to the formal start of the 2016 election cycle.

The idea gained support this spring, as the party openly discussed ways to shift the Sooner State from its “red-state” (Republican) voting patterns, in hopes to make it more “purple” – broadening the voter appeal of Democrats by offering the burgeoning ranks of Independents a chance to join in selection of party nominees.

The reconvened State Convention will be held at Oklahoma City Community College in the College Union Building. Credentialing and registration for delegates, guests, press, and other attendees will begin at 10 a.m., with Convention kick-off at 12 p.m. (noon).

The convention will begin with introductions and speeches from honored guests and 2014 Democratic nominees for statewide office.

Debate on Independent voters will begin at 1:30 p.m. as the first item of business. 

Debate and voting will be limited to Convention delegates but attendance at Convention will be open to the public for anyone interested.

At the May 30 gathering, Mark Hammons was elected party chairman, while former state Sen. Connie Johnson of Oklahoma City was chosen as vice-chair. 

NOTE: Editor Pat McGuigan contributed to this report.