The Senate Rules Committee has advanced three proposals introduced by Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, to modernize Oklahoma’s election system and increase rapidly declining voter participation. In 1992, over 70 percent of eligible Oklahomans participated in the presidential election, but by 2012, that percentage had plunged to only 52 percent, third-worst in the nation. In 2014, less than 30 percent of eligible voters participated in the statewide general election. A third of eligible Oklahomans are not even registered. There were fewer registered voters in 2014 than there were in 1988, even though the state’s population has grown 22 percent.
The three pieces of legislation advancing to the Senate floor are:
Senate Bill 312 (passed 11-0) – This consolidates all local candidate elections to one cycle in the spring or one cycle in the fall. Currently, for example, in Oklahoma City this year, school board and career tech board elections were held in February, but city council elections will be held in March.
Senate Bill 313 (passed 11-0) – This allows eligible citizens with a driver’s license to securely register to vote online. Over half the states offer this modern accommodation. Over a third of eligible Oklahoma voters are not registered to vote. Younger voters especially are not used to a world where such tasks cannot be accomplished online. This legislation is co-authored by Minority Leader Randy Bass, who led an interim study on the issue last year.
Full Article: Election legislation advances – Norman Transcript: Oklahoma.