No specific threats of interference with Tuesday’s elections in Oklahoma have been received, the state’s top election official said Monday, and he told voters to be wary of election-tampering claims.
“We continue to see misinformation and conspiracy theories related to elections that just are not accurate,” Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said during a Monday press conference. “We want to encourage Oklahoma voters to be skeptical of claims they may hear, especially on social media. Just be cautious about what you are reading.”
“Oklahoma has one of the most accurate and secure voting systems in the entire world,” Ziriax said.
Besides, he added, election officials and workers have a vested interest in their performances and the performance of the system.
“For election officials, this is our Super Bowl,” he said.
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Ziriax again urged voters to check the location of their polling places and make sure they have identification as they head out to cast ballots on Tuesday. He said precinct boundaries and some polling locations have changed since 2020 because of redistricting.
Polling locations are listed on new voter identification cards issued earlier this year and can also be checked online through the OK Voter Portal on the State Election Board‘s website or by contacting local election boards.
One polling place in McCurtain County had to be moved because of last week’s tornado, but that was the only storm-related change, officials said.
Besides voting location, the voter portal also provides access to sample ballots, which may help avoid surprises at the voting stall.
“There are a lot of races on the ballot you are not seeing on television, so it is good to know what those are before you go vote, such as judicial races, judicial retention questions, county offices,” Ziriax said.
Identification is required for in-person voting. This can include a voter registration card or a valid state, federal or tribal photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
Those with no ID or whose eligibility is disputed may sign an affidavit swearing to their identity and submit a provisional ballot, which will be allowed if the affidavit information matches voter registration rolls.
Zirax said early in-person voting and mail-in absentee ballots are continuing a general upward trend, although they are down somewhat from the pandemic-plagued 2020 election.
Taking advantage of one extra early voting day, more than 132,000 Oklahomans cast ballots in person last week, Ziriax said. That is about halfway between the 167,000 in 2020 and 107,000 in 2018, the last gubernatorial election year, and far more than the 44,000 in 2014.
“That is really exciting,” Ziriax said.
As of 8:30 a.m. Monday, county election boards had received almost 67,000 mail-in ballots, with two full days to go before the 7 p.m. Tuesday deadline for them to be received.
That’s far below the 283,000 cast in 2020 but on track to easily surpass the 68,000 in 2018 and 26,000 in 2014.
Mail-in ballots are processed but not counted until Election Day. The results of early in-person voting are tallied by individual machines but also are not extracted from the machines until Tuesday.
Almost 1.2 million ballots were counted in the 2018 gubernatorial election, a record for governor. The state’s voter rolls have grown by about 175,000 since then.
Ziriax also warned against electioneering — that is, trying to coerce or influence voters — within 300 feet of a ballot box.
“That is state law,” he said. “It is actually a criminal offense. Electioneering is advocating for or against a candidate or issue on the ballot. That could be a ballcap, button or a T-shirt with your favorite candidate’s name or logo.”
Ziriax said voters who believe someone is violating the electioneering law should immediately contact officials.
“You want to immediately notify the precinct inspector,” he said. “That is the official in charge of the polling place. Or contact your county election board.”
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Tulsa World spent time on the campaign trail to learn about the discussions those seeking the governor’s seat are having with Oklahomans ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
James Lankford is on his way to becoming Oklahoma’s senior senator after the impending retirement of Jim Inhofe. Polls show a comfortable lead against Democratic challenger Madison Horn.
Republican incumbent Kevin Stitt and Democratic challenger Joy Hofmeister are on different paths during the final days of their gubernatorial campaigns, but both led to Tulsa on Wednesday.
Mullin and Horn, plus Libertarian Robert Murphy and independent Ray Woods, are vying to serve the remaining four years of Inhofe’s term.
Jena Nelson, a Democrat, and Ryan Walters, a Republican, both have shared their ideas for changes to #oklaed. Most would require legislative approval.
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and Gov. Kevin Stitt debated in Oklahoma City. The event was livestreamed but not broadcast.
Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, and State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, a Democrat, sparred Wednesday during a debate in Oklahoma City.
The gubernatorial candidates are close in the polls less than a month out from the general election and are trying to differentiate their policy opinions.
Apparently nothing changed the minds of voters between June’s primary and Tuesday’s runoff.
It’s the first time such a thing has happened in Oklahoma, and making the matchup even more unusual is that all of the men in those races are Republicans and all of the women are Democrats.
Four GOP incumbents have huge financial and political advantages. The open CD2 spot has been overwhelmingly Republican since former U.S. House Rep. Dan Boren retired from politics 10 years ago.
Former state Sen. Josh Brecheen prevailed Tuesday in one of the country’s most surprisingly expensive Congressional races.
Tuesday night’s event hosted by KOKH-Fox 25 TV in Oklahoma City is the only time state superintendent candidates have debated one-on-one. #oklaed
The Tulsa World had a front-row seat for their markedly different political rhetoric at recent campaign stops, followed up by one-on-one interviews with Jena Nelson and Ryan Walters. #oklaed
All three face opponents in November’s general election.
Changed voter demographics of House District 70, as well as a fairly well-known candidate, give Democrats hope that they can flip the seat blue in the Nov. 8 general election.
After 12 years, a new face will represent the district, which encompasses a large chunk of Sand Springs as well as Sperry and Skiatook and a substantial swath of the surrounding rural Tulsa and Osage counties.
Democrat Melissa Provenzano won HD 79 in 2018 and successfully defended the seat in 2020, despite a substantial Republican advantage in registered voters. With time and redistricting, that margin has decreased from about 3,570 to about 1,650, but the GOP still views it as a potential pickup for nominee Paul Hassink.
District 7 candidate Ken Reddick’s list of endorsements has included the governor for weeks.
In the August general election, Wright, the incumbent, won 49.8% of the vote to Reddick’s 26.3%.
Incumbent City Councilor Mykey Arthrell is being challenged by Grant Miller.
Connie Dodson stresses her experience and accomplishments over the past eight years; Christian Bengel declined to be interviewed but says residents of east Tulsa deserve better leadership.
Public schools and the public health emergency are where their differences become most apparent. Both candidates made separate visits to the Tulsa World last week.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray and Special Judge Tanya Wilson will participate in the Nov. 1 forum, which is not open to the public but will be live-streamed for voters.
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