After record numbers of candidates filed for elected offices across the state, voters have turned out in kind during the early stages of the 2018 election cycle.
Voter turnout was as high as county election board offices expected from a presidential election during the June 28 ballot according to Diane Hall, Carter County election board secretary. That ballot combined primary races for several seats as well as the state question that legalized medical cannabis in Oklahoma.
Momentum seems to have carried over to the mid-term general election, according to the unofficial numbers reported by the Oklahoma State Election Board. Early voting began Thursday, Nov. 1, with absentee ballots arriving before that. The state election board reported 2,120,843 voters now registered across the state, an increase of 105,000 since January 2018.
In the 2014 midterm election, Carter and Murray county election board secretaries reported about 800 and 215 early voters, respectively. This year, Carter County saw 1,771 in-person absentee votes through Saturday afternoon, with an additional 371 mail-in ballots. Murray County surpassed previous totals as well with 495 in-person and 139 mail-in ballots.
“It’s been pretty steady for us,” said Tommie Grimes, Murray County election board secretary.
While the numbers are still unofficial until the election results are reviewed and certified next week, statewide numbers, as reported by the Oklahoma State Election Board, show a similar increase across the board. The state election board reported that 57,700 Oklahomans voted by mail and 106,200 voted early in person, for a combined total of 163,900 ballots completed prior to the official election day. In comparison, the last gubernatorial election in Oklahoma netted just 69,847 absentee voters — 26,036 mail-in and 43,811 in person.
Additional statistics and voting information can be found online at elections.ok.gov.

By the numbers
Early voting statistics from Oklahoma State Election board *unofficial until election is certified.
    Mail    In person    Total
Carter    371    1,771    2,142
Murray    139    495    634
Love    47    266    313
Marshall    120    563    683
State    57,711    106,216    163,927