The Oklahoma State Election Board is heading into this week's candidate filing period with the possibility of thousands of teachers, students and education supporters still rallying at the Capitol.
In preparation of the crowds, officials are moving the filing location from the second floor of the capitol down to just inside the west entrance on the ground level, in order to avoid crowds possibly still packed in the area.
Public Information Officer Bryan Dean says with several open statewide seats, including the governor, and a renewed interest in the elections, the number of candidates could top 600.
“We tend to see a bit higher interest when you have an open gubernatorial race – kinda drives interest in turnout, and then, you know, there’s a lot of interest right now in legislative races, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up with a record number of candidates this year.”
Dean says candidates should avoid procrastinating.
“If you show up at 5:01pm, we cannot accept that declaration. If you were parking at 5:00, it doesn’t matter. If there’s a tornado outside, there’s nothing in the law that allows us to postpone that deadline, so candidates need to give themselves extra time. Be very careful about getting here at the last minute.”
The cost of filing has also increased to:
- $500 for state house seats
- $750 for state senate seats
- $1,000 for most statewide offices and U.S. House
- $2,000 for Governor and U.S. Senate
In lieu of a filing fee, prospective candidates can bring in a petition with signatures from two percent of registered voters in their districts.