What nicknames are allowed on the ballot?
Hundreds of candidates use an informal or nickname. But one candidate doesn't want her opponent to use 'The Patriot' as his part of his ballot name.
Termed out state Rep. Sean Roberts wants to be the next State Labor Commissioner. His former colleague in the House says she wants his nickname dropped from the official ballot. The case comes before the state election board, next week.
Senator Blake 'Cowboy' Stevens has been on multiple ballots under that name. Evidently 'Cowboy' is not as offensive as 'The Patriot'?
The Oklahoma Election Board released the list of challenged candidacies, Tuesday night. While the docket wasn't comparatively long by recent standards, it contained several challenges in court officers. Nearly half of the dozen challenges were court-related.
Two other associate judge races for Stephens and Blaine Counties are being contested. What makes these challenges interesting, is that even without hired candidate legal counsel (they are allowed to have attorneys argue their case for them); these judge candidates are probably better litigators than the election board, combined!
Historically, the election board rarely has a practicing attorney among them. They are counseled by a member of the Attorney General's staff, regarding statutory law and precedent. At times the cases involve constitutional rights and have no precedent, and theoretically count be appealed to the federal courts. But no recent state election board ruling has successfully been appealed.
A few years back, we interviewed the former chair of the election board, Steve Curry. He admitted that one particular case was way over his head, and he had to provide an expedient ruling that day, without any ability to do his own legal search.
Other unique challenges include the State Labor Commissioner's race, where Rep. Sean Roberts is evidently being challenged on whether he can include his nickname (the Patriot) in his ballot name. There are plenty of candidates who've listed nicknames, but this will be entertaining to watch the litigation of.
The contests are being heard on April 25th. the plaintiffs have to send legal summons to the defendant this week, via the county sheriff where the plaintiff lives. The plaintiff posts a $250 fee to contest and the defendant must also post a $250 fee to defend. the prevailing party gets their $250 returned.
Last Saturday, The State Election Board held a public drawing for order of ballot names. That event was recorded & we embedded the video below.