4 Big Take-Aways From Rick Santorum's Oklahoma Primary Win

No surprises in Oklahoma. Santorum takes the delegates for the GOP, Obama for the Democrats. There were a few oddities, of course, since this is Oklahoma:

1) The anti-abortion zealot Randall Terry was on the ballot . . . the Democratic ballot. I don't want to tell him his business, but I'm not sure they are a terribly good fit for each other.

2) Today was the first time the picture ID requirement kicked in. According to which side you believe, this law is either our only hope to stave off massive voter fraud which threatens to bring down the republic, or, an attempt to keep minorities from voting. Take your pick. In any event, there were no reports of either fraud or disenfranchisement today, though I'll let you know if I hear anything.

3) No third parties on the ballot. OK, technically this is not an oddity, as one would never expect much third party activity on Super Tuesday. But, it does give me a chance to complain about Oklahoma’s ridiculously oppressive ballot access laws. A third party has as much chance of making the ballot here as Newt Gingrich has of playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder (you're welcome for that visual, by the way). Years of lobbying and lawsuits have done nothing to dissuade either party to open up the political process to competition. “Draconian” is not too strong a word for it. Now that I think about it, this may partially explain the whole “Randall Terry as a Democrat” business.

4) No write-in-vote option. Fine, this is not an oddity either, in the strictest sense of the word. It is not completely unusual for Primary Elections to be without a write-in option. The difference is, in Oklahoma, the option doesn’t exist, period. Ever. At all. You will vote for who you’re told and like it. The election laws in this state are only slightly less crazy than the liquor laws (but don’t get me started on that).

Memo to Senator Santorum: “I won huge in Oklahoma” is only a big deal if you're Oklahoma Sooner coach Bob Stoops (feel free to substitute Barry Switzer in this analogy if you're over 60 years old). 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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David Walker

David Walker is a middle school teacher and sometime attorney living in Oklahoma City.

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