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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: February 16, 2009

Sen. Kenneth Corn
Senator Kenneth Corn

Corn’s Bill to End Partisan Appointment of Election Board Secretaries Fails on Party-line Vote

Sen. Kenneth Corn on Monday said the failure of his legislation to end the partisan appointment of County Election Board Secretaries suggests that Senate Republicans lack a commitment to ending political patronage in Oklahoma.

Senate Bill 460 would have required County Election Board Secretaries to be chosen according to qualifications established by the State Election Board. Additionally, the measure would have given preference to candidates who have a minimum of three years of experience in county elections, and have attended the election board education training conducted by the State Election Board.

“We had a chance today to reform an out-dated system, but Senate Republicans failed to vote in a manner consistent with their rhetoric,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “Currently in Oklahoma, you can become an Election Board Secretary simply by being a friend or donor to a state Senator. I wanted to end that practice, but apparently the Republican leadership in the state Senate wants to continue that system despite claiming an interest in ending political patronage.”

Corn said that an office with administrative oversight of elections is an office that shouldn’t be treated as a patronage spoil. The Poteau Democrat said replacing the current system with a merit-based approach would yield the highest caliber candidates and guarantee better service to citizens.

“It’s clear to me that while Republicans are in favor of giving lip-service to reform, they aren’t in favor of voting to end political patronage when given the opportunity,” Corn said. “No one should ever be given a job in state government simply because they know a state Senator.”

For more information contact:
Sen. Corn's Office: 405-521-5576

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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