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No more Dems and Reps in primary elections?

State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY— The next time you vote in a primary election, you could see some big changes to your ballot.

A local representative from Tecumseh announced that he plans to file legislation that would make county elections non-partisan in Oklahoma.

The first bill would focus on sheriff elections, which would allow voters of either party to choose the top two candidates for the job.

State Rep. Josh Cockroft said for the first time, the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association has voted unanimously to support legislation that would make the sheriff’s race non-partisan.

The second bill would make all county elections non-partisan.

The current system forces voters to choose a candidate belonging to their party in primary elections.

However, non-partisan elections would allow all voters to participate, even if candidates that file belong to only one party.

State Rep. Josh Cockroft said, “Making these non-legislative positions non-partisan is an important step to simply putting the right people in the right office, no matter their party.

 Constituents are always telling me about the frustration they have with the current system, where they can’t always vote for the candidate they want because of his or her party designation. While I believe legislative positions should be partisan, I don’t think most of us see a need for partisan county elections.”
Lawmakers are currently drafting legislation, which must be filed by Jan. 17.

The legislative session convenes Feb. 4.