Oklahoma SQ 798 Asks If Gov. And Lt Gov. Should Run On Same Ticket

Wednesday, October 10th 2018, 6:54 am
By: Grant Hermes

On Nov. 6, Oklahoma voters will decide whether to change the way the voters choose who holds the two highest offices in the state; governor and lieutenant governor depending on the outcome of state question 798.

The premise is simple. SQ 798 asks voters to decide whether candidates who are running for governor and lt. gov. should form a team and run on the same ticket. In most cases, this would likely be members of the same party although not required under the language of the state question.

Oklahoma is one of 17 states where the offices are elected separately. In 26 states, each party's nominees form a ticket, just like with the President and Vice President. In two states, the President of the Senate is also the Lt Governor. Five states don't have an office of Lt. Governor at all.

"More than 1 in 4 voters right now is undecided, there's not a lot of definition to, is this a good thing or is this a bad thing in voters' minds, and so they're going to have to study it more-- I do know that there are a lot of advocates out there who are for this,” Bill Shapard with Sooner Poll said.

In the latest News9/Sooner Poll poll, 42 % of voters said they’d support a joint ticket on upcoming ballots.

Approving the state question could have impacts on state governance too. Supporters say it would be an improvement, giving the executive branch of Oklahoma’s governor a unified vision. In Oklahoma, the Lt. Governor also serves as the President of the State Senate, so it could also help the governor advance his or her legislative agenda.

There have been times in the past - most recently when Brad Henry was governor - that the Lt Governor.. in that case, Mary Fallin, were from different parties,

If it's approved, the new joint ticket system would first go into effect for the 2026 election.