Tuesday, January 25, 2022

State Rep files bill to make unopposed incumbents subject to retention vote

Well, this is certainly an interesting proposal...

It's an intriguing idea, though I doubt it will receive a hearing. 

Bill Allows Voters Opportunity to Vote Out Unopposed Incumbents

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Andy Fugate, D-Del City, has filed legislation aimed at giving Oklahomans a voice regardless of whether an incumbent legislator has an opponent.

House Bill 3059 creates a vehicle that allows voters to decide whether to retain an incumbent who is not facing a challenger during their reelection bid.

“They say the best term limit is at the ballot box,” Fugate said. “Unfortunately, many legislators don’t ever show up on the ballot. In the last election, 46 members won their seats by default. Nobody voted for them. They didn’t draw an opponent so their constituents had no choice but to accept them - whether they wanted them or not.”

Fugate used judicial retention practices to come up with the legislation. 

“Under this proposal, any incumbent legislator who does not have an opponent will still appear on the ballot. They will stand for retention, which means voters will choose if they want to keep their elected representative. Retention is what we already do today for judges.”

The Del City state lawmaker hopes to garner bipartisan support for the bill as it heads to the committee.

“The Founding Fathers decided the ballot box is how we hold accountable those who represent us,”  Fugate said. “The United States is a Representative Democracy. In America, voters should always decide who will represent them.”


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