Election Board secretary announces governor’s decision on timing of Senate District 43 election

 The process of replacing state Sen. Jim Reynolds in District 43 has begun, according to news from Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin today (Wednesday, June 1) set the special primary election for August 9.

The special general election will be October 11. Governor Fallin’s proclamation on matter is now posted online.

Candidate filing will be June 13, 14 and 15 in Room B-6 of the state Capitol Building. District 43 includes parts of Cleveland and Oklahoma Counties.

The election to fill out Reynolds’ term will be the last one for the district in its current form, as its geographic area is being absorbed into four other districts as a result of legislative reapportionment. For the coming decade (and beginning in the 2012 election), the district number will shift to a new seat much further south of Oklahoma City, in Stephens and McClain counties.

Sen. Reynolds was an ardent champion of limited government, including caps on property taxes, during his 11 years at the state Capitol. He delivered a farewell address on May 20 and has formally resigned, effective July 1. He is becoming treasurer of Cleveland County.

In other election-related news, new legislative districts in 2012 will trigger a number of candidacies, as incumbents are “termed-out” after 12 years, and/or as hopefuls or challengers see opportunity in the new district lines.

Effecting the campaign season will be House Bill 1615, the “Let The Troops Vote Act” (HB 1615) which has led to a major shift in Oklahoma’s regular election dates. Intended to protect voting rights for U.S. military personnel, the new law requires at least 45 days for sending and processing absentee ballots.

As result, next year’s candidate filing period will move from early June to mid-April (one of the busiest times of the annual legislative session). This will move primaries from late July to late June, with runoffs still in late August.

House Bill 1614, another elections bill, will move the Sooner State’s presidential preference primary from early February to early March. According to Ziriax, the new benchmarks for state elections in presidential years will be:

First Tuesday in March:

– Presidential Preferential Primary

Second Wednesday in April:

– 3-day candidate filing period begins

Last Tuesday in June:

– Primary Election

Fourth Tuesday in August:

– Primary Runoff Election

First Tuesday after the first Monday in November:

– General Election.

Candidate filing packets and other information about state elections are available at the state Election board website.