This year’s election cycle has brought more and more voters to the polls — to the tune of a net increase statewide of more than 104,000 voters according to the Oklahoma State Election Board.
In Carter County alone, voter registration numbers have swelled to 30,019 – though some 4,772 are listed as inactive according to the October 2018 report by County Election Board Secretary Diane Hall.
Early voting began Thursday at county election board offices across the state. In 2014’s general election, Carter County had a total of 873 early voters over the entire four-day span. This year, Thursday alone brought 695 to the polls. Two days of early voting remain, with polls open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
“Inactive voters are purged after they don’t vote in two general elections or eight years,” Hall said. “Any activity would keep a voter active, but after two generals they are subject to be purged.”
Hall said things like updating an address or voting would keep a registration active.
Carter County registrations
have shifted over the past few election cycles. As of October 31, 2018, a total of 25,247 voters were listed as active. Of those, 10,402 were registered Democrats, 10,549 were registered Republicans, 78 were registered Libertarians and 4,218 were registered Independents.
For the same time period in 2014, 23,712 voters were listed as active in the county, with 12,466 registered Democrats, 8,163 Republicans and 3,083 Independents. Another party, Americans Elect, was listed as a party for the state with zero registrants in Carter County at that time. The total number of active and inactive voters in Carter County in 2014 was 29,122 according to county election board records.
The Oklahoma State Election Board does an official voter registration count on November 1 in years where there is a General Election, said Bryan Dean, the public information officer for the state election board. This year’s count showed 2,120,843 people registered to vote, almost 100,000 more voters than at this time four years ago, Dean said.
Republicans had 1,003,182 voters, along with 781,091 Democrats, 8,675 Libertarians and 327,895 Independents, according to the state election board’s report.
Dean said long-term trends show the share of the vote increasing for Republicans and Independents at the expense of the Democratic Party, although all parties saw an increase in registrations this year, with all three of those parties having their highest number voting ever.
Voters registered in any Carter County precinct may vote at the county election board during the early voting period. Mail-in absentee ballots must be received by the county election board by 7 p.m. on Nov. 6. Those may be delivered in person during regular business hours and only standard absentee ballots may be hand delivered. According to the state election board’s regulations, absentee ballots may be requested under special conditions for incapacitated persons and those who care for them and for military voters.
Questions may be directed to the Carter County Election Board office, by phone at (580)223-5290 or in person at 25 A St. NW.