Ballot access LTE in the Edmond Sun

OK Greens Co-Chair James Branum had a letter to the editor published in the Edmund Sun:

Cooksey’s bill would make state elections more open

Every year at the ballot box we all face tough decisions, but in the end we are in the voting booth alone with our conscience and our judgment. It is in that voting booth that we are able to express our own viewpoint without fear. It is in the voting booth that every voice should be heard.

Last November I was denied the right to vote for the candidate of my choice.

For myself as Mennonite and a believer in Jesus’ message of peace, I wanted to vote for a Presidential candidate who would bring an end to the war in Iraq.

But instead I was given only two choices – Bush and Kerry, who both were strong defenders of the war. If I had lived in another state, I could have voted my conscience. In fact in every other state of the union, there would have been at least one other choice for President on the ballot. However, since Oklahoma doesn’t have democratic election laws, we get only two choices.

It is time to change the law. HB 1429 (introduced by St. Rep. Marian Cooksey R-Edmond and St. Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Tulsa) would restore democracy to our state by lowering the petitioning requirement for new political parties from 70,000+ signatures to 5,000 (the state’s requirement from 1924-1974).

Democracy means that you get to vote for the candidate of your own choice. If you think it is time that we have this right in Oklahoma, please call you state legislator and ask them to support HB 1429.

For more information on this issue please go to www.okballotchoice.org

James M. Branum
Oklahoma City

OK Greens’ statement on the Death Penalty

The Supreme Court decision banning the application of the death penalty for juveniles means that a number of Oklahoma death row prisoners who were under 18 at the time of the crime they were convicted for, will no longer themselves be murdered by the state.

The platform of the Green Party of Oklahoma has the following plank regarding the death penalty:

As a matter of conscience we call for the abolition of the death penalty. Until such time as the death penalty is abolished, we call for a moratorium on further executions in Oklahoma until it can be ensured that no innocent person would be killed in our names.

Since Oklahoma executes prisoners at a higher rate per capita than any other state and most nations including China and Iran, and there has been proven examples of false and faked evidence used to convict the innocent in Oklahoma, and there may be instances of innocents being killed for crimes they did not commit, we continue to call for the state of Oklahoma, and indeed the United States government, to completely abolish state-sanctioned killing within the criminal justice system.