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Oklahoma Democrats again open their primaries to independent voters

A person casts their ballot inside an Oklahoma City voting booth.
Mairead Todd / KOSU

Registered independents will again be allowed to vote in Democratic primary elections in 2024 and 2025, the State Election Board announced Monday.

The Republican and Libertarian primaries will remain closed to independent voters, Paul Ziriax, state election board secretary, said in a statement. Primary participation decisions are made in odd-numbered election years.

As of Nov. 30, there were about 431,670 registered independent voters in Oklahoma, according to the State Election Board statistics. In comparison, there were about 1.19 million registered Republicans, about 653,850 Democrats and about 21,680 Libertarians.

While Oklahoma is generally a closed-party state, meaning that only those registered with a political party can cast ballots in primaries, all recognized political parties have the option of opening their elections to independents.

Democrats have allowed independents to participate since 2016, Election Board spokesperson Misha Mohr said.

In order to vote in the Democratic primary, independent voters must request a partisan primary ballot.

Anyone interested in updating their party affiliation must do so before April 1. No party affiliation changes are allowed April 1 through Aug. 31 in 2024.

To learn more, visit the state’s Voter Portal.

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