Mark at Press Conf for Independents[Oklahoma City, OK, November 16, 2015] The following is the statement provided by Oklahoma Democratic Party chair, Mark Hammons, during a press conference and “Welcome to the Party” ceremony today at the Capitol in honor of opening Oklahoma’s Democratic Primaries to voters registered as Independent:

“Today, we make history. Yesterday, over 260,000 registered voters in Oklahoma had no voice selecting who would be on the general election ballot. Today, the Oklahoma Democratic Party is giving these Oklahomans a voice. The hallmark of the Democratic Party is courage, innovation and openness. And so we welcome Independent voters to join us in selecting Oklahoma’s next generation of leaders.

“As we celebrate the ideas and participation of a quarter of a million new voters in the Democratic primaries, let me thank the many leaders and visionaries who made today’s historic action become a reality. This is not one person’s accomplishment, but the achievement of a political party that is dedicated to growth and evolution.

“From former governors and gubernatorial nominees to our legislative leaders who supported reaching out to these disenfranchised Oklahomans. Seventy percent of Oklahoma’s convention delegates voted to approve this action. The Democratic Party’s Central Committee gave its unanimous support. And so tomorrow, a quarter of a million Oklahomans now are part of the Democratic Party’s process for selecting the best candidates to shape the future of our State and our country.

“To all Independent voters in Oklahoma, we welcome you.”