Candidates will crowd the Capitol beginning Wednesday
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Published: 10-Apr-2012

Oklahoma Candidates for state and federal elected offices will begin filing tomorrow (Wednesday, April 11). Filing will continue Thursday and Friday on the second floor of the state Capitol in the former offices of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Filing each day is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CapitolBeatOK and other news organizations will be on hand to watch the filing process and interview many of this year’s hopefuls. 

Officials presume Wednesday will see two-thirds or more of all this year’s candidates file. However, Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriaz notes that in past years candidate filing was much later in the year and took place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  

Ziriax is not certain what effect, if any, the change in schedule will have on candidate filings.  In 2000, 313 people filed for office; 412 filed in 2004; 296 filed in 2008, the most recent presidential election year.

This is a comparatively “quiet” election year below the presidential level. There is no U.S. Senate race in Oklahoma, but all five U.S. House seats may be contested. The most lively race could come in the Second Congressional District, where incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Boren is not seeking reelection.

In addition to the presidential contest, two state Corporation Commission seats are up for election, including a full six-year term for the position now held by Bob Anthony, and a “short-term” for Patrice Douglass, who was appointed when incumbent Jeff Cloud left office early. 

All 101 state House seats (for two-year terms) are up; the 24 odd-numbered districts in the state Senate are also subject to election, for four-year terms. 

In November, several key judicial positions will be subject to retention (Yes/No) elections. This will include four state Supreme Court posts, three Court of Criminal Appeals positions, and five judges on the Court of Civil Appeals. 

Additionally, a large number of county offices are open to filings at the county election board level. 

Filing has been moved, as have elections themselves, to accommodate federal requirements that members of the U.S. military have adequate time to get absentee ballots processed. Analysts speculate the early filing (and earlier election days) could lead to pressure on legislative leaders, from incumbents, to end the session before the required Friday, May 25 adjournment. 

Filing fees range from $200 to $750, depending on the job being sought. 

Early voting (or “in-person” absentee voting), which has been popular with many Oklahomans, will be available for all the elections. 

This year’s partisan primaries will be held Tuesday, June 26. Qualified independents who file gain ballot status and do not have a primary. 

A new wrinkle in this year’s election is that in addition to the Republican and Democratic parties, the new “Americans Elect” party will have a ballot line in November – and conceivably could have contested primaries even though there were, as of early this month, no registered members of that party. The new party plans to hold an online “convention” this summer to pick a presidential and vice presidential candidate. 

Oklahoma’s two major parties held presidential primaries in March. 

The last day to register to vote for the primary will be Friday, June 1; with absentee ballot requests due by Wednesday, June 20.  Early voting will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday June 22 and Monday, June 25; and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 23. 

Runoffs, when required, will be held Tuesday, August 28. The last date to register for participation in that election will be Friday, August 3; absentee ballot requests must be submitted by Wednesday, August 22. Early voting will be Friday, August 24, Saturday, August 25 and Monday, August 27 (hours the same as for the primary). 

The general election is slated for Tuesday, November 6. Early voting will be Friday, November 2, Saturday, November 3, and Monday, November 5 (hours the same as for the primary and runoff). 

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