Oklahoma Election Board rejects GOP candidate's request to be listed as 'The Patriot' on next ballot
In Oklahoma, far-right State Rep. Sean Roberts has been calling himself “The Patriot” — and Roberts, who is running for Oklahoma labor commissioner, was hoping to be listed as “The Patriot” on a state ballot. But the Oklahoma Election Board, according to the Associated Press, has ruled that he cannot do that; he will have to be listed under his real name on the ballot.
“Oklahoma election rules allow a candidate to use a nickname if it’s a name the candidate is generally known by or who does business using the nickname,” AP explains. “Roberts’ opponent, Republican Labor Commissioner Leslie Osborn, said there’s no evidence Roberts is known as ‘The Patriot.’ She pointed out, in her petition, to the Board that Roberts has appeared on the ballot in seven successive elections as Kevin Sean Roberts or Sean Roberts.”
Roberts has been serving in the Oklahoma House of Representatives since 2011, but because of term limits, he cannot run for reelection in 2022. However, Roberts is free to run for a different position, and he entered the 2022 GOP primary for Oklahoma labor commissioner.
Roberts has championed both culture-war politics and voter suppression in his state. In July 2020, he proposed taking away tax breaks for the basketball team Oklahoma City Thunder if any of their players took a knee and didn’t rise for the U.S. National Anthem as a way of protesting the murder of George Floyd. And in 2021, Roberts pushed a voter suppression bill that would have required all registered voters in Oklahoma to re-register before the next election.