Claremore Daily Progress

June 3, 2006

Filing begins

Candidates register for county, state, federal, judicial seats

Krystal J. Carman

Several Rogers County offices will be up for election this year, and filing for those offices begins Monday.

One race has already generated a lot of interest with at least five candidates already announcing — County Commission District 1. Other potential candidates have indicated they will throw their “hat” into the ring for District 1, and also for District 3.

Current District 1 Commissioner Gerry Payne has chosen not to run for re-election, but several candidates have already began campaigning for his seat.

District 3 Commissioner Randy Baldridge, who has served Rogers County for three years, will run for re-election.

Rogers, Mayes and Craig County District Attorney Gene Haynes will be filing for his fifth term.

In addition to county offices, U.S. representatives, state officers, judicial offices and state representatives will be placed on the ballot.

Filing for the offices begins at 8 a.m. Monday, and will end at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Officials with the Rogers County Election Board say they expect to be busy Monday morning receiving filings for various offices.



OFFICES and FILING

To be eligible to file for an office, county candidates must have been a registered voter within the county for a six-month period immediately preceeding the first day of the filing period. In order to file for the position of county commissioner, candidates must be a qualified registered elector in that district for six months preceeding the filing date.

U.S. representative candidates must be a resident of the state in which he/she shall be chosen, as well as be at least 25 years of age and a U.S. citizen for at least seven years.

State offices up for election this year include Auditor and Inspector, Insurance Commissioner, Corporation Commissioner, District Attorney, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commissioner of Labor, State Senator, State Representative, District Judge and Associate District Judge.

All candidates for state offices must be a registered voter of their affiliated party for the six month period prior to the filing date.

State offices have special filing qualifications as well.

The state Auditor and Inspector is required to have at least three years of experience as an expert accountant, and must be able to perform duties such as examine state and all county treasurers’ books, accounts and cash on hand or in bank at least twice each year and publish a report to every treasurer once a year.

Oklahoma’s Insurance Commissioner must be at least 25 years of age and a resident of the state for at least five years, with five years experience in the insurance industry in administration, sales, servicing or regulation.

Two years of residency in the state, as well as being at least 30 years of age are just a couple of the requirements for the office of Corporation Commissioner. Candidates for this office must not have any interest, directly or indirectly, in any railroad, street railway, traction line, canal, steam boat, pipeline, car line, sleeping car line, car association, express line, telephone or telegraph line, operated for hire. They may not hold any interest in any of the above mentioned, in or out of the state of Oklahoma.

Candidates for District Attorney must be at least 28 years old, and have been a licensed attorney for five years prior to the filing date. In addition, candidates must be a resident of the state for two years, and of the district for three months.

State Legislature candidates must be at least 25 years old, and have lived in the district for at least six months as well.

For judge seats, candidates are required to have had a minimum of four years experience as a licensed practicing attorney or as a judge of court record, or both, within the state. In addition, they too must be a resident of the district for six months immediately preceeding the filing date.

A filing fee is required from all candidates wishing to run for office, and it varies with each office. For county offices, as well as several state offices, there is a $200 filing fee. The filing fee for governor candidates is $1,500.



VOTING REGISTRATION

The last day to register to vote in the primary election on July 25 is June 30. Absentee ballot applications will be accepted by the election board until 5 p.m. July 19.

You must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen and a resident of Oklahoma in order to register to vote.

Information collected in registering to vote includes name and address, political affiliation, date of birth, Oklahoma driver’s license number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Those who register will receive a voter identification card in the mail, which must be presented when voting.

Those wishing to submit an absentee ballot must submit an application explaining the reason for the request to the election board. Nursing home residents who are registered voters, physically incapacitated voters and voters charged with the care of physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left unattended may apply for absentee ballots.

Oklahomans who are in the military or are living overseas, and their spouses, may vote by absentee ballot.

Absentee ballots must be received by mail or mail service by 7 p.m. on election day, and cannot be hand delivered. However, in-person absentee voting is also available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. the Friday and Monday before every election.

Every county in Oklahoma uses electronic optical-scanning voting machines, which requires the voter to fill in an arrow next to the candidate’s name. The votes are tallied electronically, and some are hand counted as required by law.

A runoff primary election will take place on Aug. 22 as needed for party candidates. The general election will be Nov. 7.

Contact Krystal Carman,

e-mail newsed@swbell.net.