Tulsa Election 2011: I, state your full name

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We're off to a rough start.

Of the 16 candidates that filed on Monday, six filed improperly by not specifying their names as they appear in the voter registration record. The deviations are all minor -- using an initial or nothingat all instead of the middle name, using a nickname, dropping the generational suffix -- and none of the filing names will be difficult to match to the voter registration records. Article VI, Section 3.1 of the Tulsa City Charter states:

Any person who desires to be nominated by a political party as its candidate for a city office shall file with the Election Board of Tulsa County or its successor a Declaration of Candidacy which shall contain:

A. The name and residence street address of the person as it appears on the voter registration records;

And again in Section 3.2:

Any person who desires to be an independent candidate for a city office shall file with the Election Board of Tulsa County or its successor a Declaration of Candidacy which shall state:

A. The name and residence street address of the person as it appears on the voter registration records; and

Or as I paraphrased yesterday:

A candidate for city office must file using his name as it appears in his voter registration, no matter how silly his middle name may be.

If your middle name is especially silly, you can run under your initials if you had first changed your registration to use your initials. I have to wonder which is sillier though: G. T. Bynum's given first and middle names or listing his first name in the voter registration records as "G T" -- not first name G, middle name T, but first name Gee-Space-Tee, no middle name. Database engineers everywhere are softly weeping at the intrusion of a non-alpha character in the name field.

I think the strict interpretation of the charter language was first enforced in 2006, if I recall correctly. There's no such requirement in state law:

The name of any candidate for any office shall be printed on the official ballot as said candidate signed his Declaration of Candidacy; provided, however, that no candidate shall have any prefix, suffix or title placed before or after his name.

Prior to 2006, you could file for city office using nicknames, initials, dropping a JR or SR suffix, with or without your middle name -- they didn't enforce the requirement. When I filed in 1998 and 2002, I filed as MICHAEL D. BATES, although I'm registered to vote under my full middle name.

What of the six who filed under variants of the name on the registration record? i suppose they need to go down to the Tulsa County Election Board between now and 5 pm Wednesday and file an amended (notarized, of course) Declaration of Candidacy.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 11, 2011 11:02 PM.

Tulsa 2011 city election filings begin was the previous entry in this blog.

Tulsa Election 2011: Filings, day 1 is the next entry in this blog.

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