Bill to move up election dates passed

Wednesday, March 5th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A bill to move up Oklahoma election dates was passed in the state Senate Tuesday after its author said the issue has become more important because of the possible war with Iraq.

Sen. Keith Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, is proposing to move the date for candidates to file for legislative, federal and state offices to the third week in June, instead in early July.

The primary would be held in late July and the runoff would be in late August instead of September.

Leftwich proposed the change because Oklahoma is under the threat of being sued by the federal government over its election timetable.

The Justice Department says the Oklahoma system does not allow sufficient time for counting absentee ballots of military voters.

Leftwich said the change would accommodate thousands of Oklahomans heading for the Middle East for possible extended stays that could occur in a war with Iraq.