Oklahoma voters expected to turn out in high numbers
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
11/06/12 at 7:24 PM
LIVE RESULTS: As the votes are counted, you can track all the local races on tulsaworld.com starting at 7 p.m.
Today in pictures: Multimedia Producer is adding photos to a timeline throghout the day, which started at 7:03 a.m.
Voter Guide: Read all the election coverage.
Editorial: Vote today: It's the most important civic duty
Oklahomans stepping into the voting booth Tuesday will have their say on a variety of federal, state and local issues ranging from who should be the next president of the United States to whether to fund capital improvements at Tulsa's airport industrial complex.
But getting to the voting booth will likely take time - this is a presidential election year, after all.
"It will definitely be heavy turnout," said Paul Ziriax, Oklahoma Election Board secretary. "We don't forecast percentages, but it will certainly be the heaviest in the last four years. ... There is a possibility of it approaching the 2008 level."
That year, 1,466,320 Oklahomans cast ballots. This year, at least 2,114,713 state residents have registered to vote.
"Redistricting occurred in 2011, so check your polling place before you head to the polls," Ziriax said.
Shelly Boggs, assistant secretary of the Tulsa County Election Board, said Tulsa County has 347,000 registered voters.
In 2004, 72 percent of registered voters - or 254,000 people - cast ballots in Tulsa County. In 2008, the number of voters increased to 256,000, with the percentage dipping to 71 percent.
"We think anywhere between 225,000 and 256,000 (will cast ballots), and it would be great if we got more, and that would be a record," Boggs said.
No issue looms larger for Tulsa County voters than Vision2 - a two-part proposal to extend the existing the 0.6 percent Vision 2025 sales tax through 2029. Vision2 is set to expire Jan. 1, 2017.
Proposition 1 would provide $386 million for economic development, including improvements to key city-owned industrial sites at Tulsa International Airport and a closing fund of at least $52.9 million to offer final incentives to companies considering locating in the area.
Proposition 2 would provide local communities and Tulsa County a total of $361.9 for quality-of-life projects.
All five Oklahoma congressional seats are being contested Tuesday.
In the 1st District, which includes most of Tulsa, three candidates are vying to succeed five-term U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, who lost to Jim Bridenstine in the Republican primary. Bridenstine faces Democrat John Olson and independent Craig Allen.
In the 2nd District, which includes several Tulsa suburbs, Republican Markwayne Mullin faces Democrat Rob Wallace and independent Michael Fulks.
In the 3rd District, which includes northwest portions of Tulsa, incumbent Republican Frank Lucas faces Democrat Timothy Ray Murray of Guthrie and independent William M. Sanders of Stillwater.
Several local legislative races will be decided Tuesday, including Senate District 11, where former Democrat Judy Eason McIntyre is retiring.
The candidates include Democratic State Rep. Jabar Shumate, Republican Dave Bell and independent Curtis J. Mullins.
In Senate District 39, incumbent Republican Brian Crain faces Democrat Julie Hall.
In House District 16, incumbent Democrat Jerry Shoemake faces Republican James "Bo" Delso. In District, 23, Republican Terry O'Donnell faces Democrat Shawna Keller. In District 29, incumbent Republican Skye McNiel faces Democrat David Narcomey. In District 36, Republican Sean Roberts faces Democrat Jim Massey. In District 66, incumbent Republican Jadine Nollan faces Democrat David Phillips. In District 71, Republican Katie Henke faces Democrat Dan Arthrell. In District 72, incumbent Democrat Seneca Scott faces Republican Randall Reese. In District 76, Republican incumbent David Brumbaugh faces Democrat Glenda Puett. In District 78, incumbent Democrat Jeannie McDaniel faces Republican Paul Catalano.
City of Tulsa
City of Tulsa voters will elect two city councilors in nonpartisan elections. In District 1, incumbent Jack Henderson faces Twan Jones. In District 7, incumbent Tom Mansur faces challenger Arianna Moore.
Mansur - who recently took a job in Ardmore - said he would not serve if elected. Should he get the most votes Tuesday, the seat would be declared vacant and the city would have to call a special election.
Statewide issues to be resolved include six state questions and retention votes for the state Supreme Court, state Court of Criminal Appeals and state Court of Criminal Appeals.
State Question 758 would limit property tax assessment increases on homestead and agricultural properties to 3 percent. The current limit on increases on all property is 5 percent.
State Question 759 would end state and local affirmative action programs based on race, color or gender in employment, education and contracting, but would allow such programs to continue if they are required to qualify for federal funding, mandated by court action or "when gender is a bona fide qualification."
State Question 762 would remove the governor from the parole process for inmates serving nonviolent sentences. Gubernatorial approval would still be needed for parole of prisoners convicted of violent crimes.
State Question 764 would allow the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to expand a lending program that local governments use to improve water and sewage programs. The measure would authorize up to $300 million in general obligation bonds to guarantee the loans. The bonds would only be sold if a local government defaulted on a loan and other fail-safes were unable to cover losses, a scenario that has never happened in the program's history.
State Question 765 would abolish the Oklahoma Human Services Commission, which oversees the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Accompanying legislation that goes into effect if the proposal passes would give the governor the authority to hire the DHS director with confirmation by the state Senate.
State Question 766 would eliminate property taxes on businesses' intangible property, which includes things like client lists, trademarks and goodwill.
World Senior Writer Wayne Greene contributed to this story.
Where to vote
On Tuesday, the only place to vote is at local precincts, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
To find your precinct, go to the State Election Board website: tulsaworld.com/votinglocator.
Voters should bring a government- or tribal-issued photo identification with them. To be valid, the ID must have an expiration date and must not have expired. Alternatively, a county election board-issued voter card is acceptable identification.
Voters who do not have an acceptable voter ID can still vote by signing an affidavit attesting to their identity and completing a provisional ballot.
Original Print Headline: High voter turnout predicted in state
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313
Sigrid Katia and Francisco Anaya (at right) and their daughter Jennifer Anaya (second from left) join other voters to cast their ballots at Heritage United Methodist Church in Broken Arrow on Tuesday. The family owns two bakeries in east Tulsa. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World
Brittani De Priest, of Broken Arrow, stands on east Kenosha street campaigning for her uncle who is running for office in Wagoner County on Tuesday. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World
Standing outside with her husband, Francisco Anaya, Sigrid Katia Anaya studies a sample ballot taped to the door at Heritage United Methodist Church in Broken Arrow on Tuesday. Originally from Mexico, Sigrid and her husband became US citizens in Nov. 2011. Their daughters became citizens in July 2012. On Tuesday they all voted together for the first time in the United States. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World
Voters wait in line at the Transformational Church 1519 West Pine Street in Tulsa on Tuesday. TOM GILBERT/Tulsa World
A sign directs voters toward the polls at Heritage United Methodist Church Tuesday in Broken Arrow. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World