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Candidate filing week starts Oklahoma's 2024 political season

Candidate filing days are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 3-5, on the ground floor of the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Abi Ruth Martin
Legislative Services Bureau
Candidate filing days are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 3-5, on the ground floor of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

This week, Oklahomans will learn whose names will appear on upcoming ballots this election year. It’s candidate filing week in Oklahoma, and here is why it matters:

Starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, and running through 5 p.m. Friday, the landscape of Oklahoma’s political rush leading to November’s election will begin to take shape.

Candidates running for federal, state and legislative offices will line up at the State Capitol’s ground floor rotunda and file paperwork with the Oklahoma Election Board and Ethics Commission.

For elected office hopefuls, it’s the official start of their run. For constituents, it’s an opportunity to find out where those vying for their votes are garnering the most support.

It’s also a chance to learn vital information about someone’s potential policy priorities before committing a vote to them. That’s because candidates submit financial contribution disclosures showing who donates to what politicians and how much money they’re giving.

What to expect at the Oklahoma State Capitol

Candidates will line up in front of tables to deliver packets of paperwork to state election officials for processing and approval. Office seekers are essentially applying for a job and while it’s not exactly exciting, the process helps maintain election integrity, as the documents they file are uploaded online for the public to view.

They include detailed financial reports naming individuals and organizations that contribute to support certain candidates. Specific financial disclosure information is available via Oklahoma’s Guardian System.

It’s also a good opportunity for Oklahomans to catch the people hoping to represent them to ask questions, express concerns in their districts or simply introduce themselves to potentially new faces in politics.

Outside the statehouse, usually near the south entrance, it’s common for various interest groups to host demonstrations aimed at influencing candidates and the public coming in and out of the building. They can range from social service and faith-based nonprofits and regional partisan groups to anti-abortion churches and LGBTQ+ rights activists.

Important dates and how to engage

Every State House member and Senator who represents an odd-numbered district is up for reelection this year and two Senators from even districts who announced retirement from public office after this year.

The two special elections are for Democratic Sen. Kay Floyd’s District 46 and fellow Democratic Sen. George Young’s District 48. The winners of these elections will serve for two years until even-numbered districts are up, along with the governorship. If they want to stay in office, they will need to run again.

Here are some upcoming election dates to plan for:

  • Primary Election: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
  • Runoff Primary Election: Tuesday, August 27, 2024
  • General Election: Tuesday, November 5, 2024

And here is a state-provided calendar with corresponding voter registration deadlines.

Oklahomans who want to register to vote can do so online at the Oklahoma Voter Portal, by mail after downloading an application and sending it to their county's election board or in person when applying for new state IDs.

For more information on candidates running for office, their financial disclosures, and how to register to vote, visit the Oklahoma State Election Board and Ethics Commission websites.

KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.

Lionel Ramos covers state government for a consortium of Oklahoma’s public radio stations. He is a graduate of Texas State University in San Marcos with a degree in English. He has covered race and equity, unemployment, housing, and veterans' issues.
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