Along with other historic moments in the election process around the country, local elections set new benchmarks, from record-high turnout to firsts in seats around the state.
In Carter County, comparing 2018 numbers to those of the last gubernatorial race in 2014, numbers show an enormous uptick in ballots cast for that race with a net change of 3,279, according to Carter County Election Board Secretary Diane Hall.
According to the Oklahoma State Election Board, Carter County is not alone in that
increase. This year’s total number of ballots cast for the governor race reached 1,185,185 — in 2014 that number was 824,831.
In Carter County, those numbers represent just over 46 percent of registered voter turnout, where the statewide percentage reached a record-high 56.09 percent.
“We are extremely pleased with voter turnout in yesterday’s election,” said Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax. “With nearly 1.2 million votes cast and turnout over 56 percent, this election ranks head and shoulders above any gubernatorial year turnout since at least 1986, and by a wide margin.”
Tuesday’s election was not without hiccups, despite the numbers. “The AT&T service disruption made it difficult on precinct officials,” Hall said. “A lot of people were coming to [the election board office] to find information on polling locations.”
“Good voter participation is a sign of a healthy democracy, and Oklahomans should be proud of their engagement in the election process this year,” Ziriax said. “We have set modern records for the number of candidates to file for office, turnout in a gubernatorial year primary election and turnout in a gubernatorial year general election. This is a banner year for elections in Oklahoma.”
The election will be certified at the county level Friday, including provisional and absentee ballots. Other business can now be processed through county election board offices, including address and political affiliation changes.
“We had numerous change forms collected at polling locations across the county,” Hall said. Those who need to make changes to their voter registration or register for the first time may do so by filling out the form available online at elections.ok.gov or by visiting the county office at 25 A Street NW, Suite 100.