Oklahoma State Senator Lonnie Paxton files election protection measure

Staff Report 
Following one of the most controversial and debated elections in U.S. history, Senator Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle, has filed legislation he asserts is intended to ensure the continued integrity of Oklahoma’s election system.

Senate Bill 523 would prohibit any political subdivision, agency, or government official from entering into a legal agreement or court settlement prescribing election procedures that conflict with election law, which is both statutorily and constitutionally set by the Legislature.

“This legislation helps ensure that the questionable and unethical election actions that took place in other states will not happen in Oklahoma. We are a government for the people and by the people, which means no office or individual in our state government has the right to make changes unilaterally to Oklahoma’s election system without first getting approval from the legislature,” Paxton said in a January 22 press release from state legislative staff. 

“Changes to election procedures that occurred in other states through last minute administrative or executive actions without the approval or knowledge of the legislature [were] wrong, we need to make sure that it never happens in our state. Oklahomans need to be able to rest assured that their elections are free and transparent, and will not be hijacked to benefit any individual, office or party.”

The measure would authorize the Legislature to take such actions only through a concurrent resolution approved by a majority of both the House and Senate.

“Free, transparent, and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy and is what the Unites States’ political system was built on,” Paxton said in his statement. 

“Oklahoma’s election system currently provides that these standards are applied and is one of the best in the country. We need to make every effort necessary to guarantee that it stays that way.”

The legislative session begins on Monday, February 1.