Early voting for local races begins Thursday

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite

With the April 6 election day looming early next week, southern Oklahoma voters can cast ballots for local elections beginning on Thursday. Along with two municipal elections in Ardmore, Carter County voters in Dickson and Davis school districts will decide board members, and Springer voters will elect a town treasurer.

Multiple local races will also be held in surrounding counties with early voting also beginning on Thursday. The deadline to request absentee ballots was on Tuesday.

Campaign signs sit at the corner of North Washington Street and 11th Avenue Northeast Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Early voting for local races across Oklahoma begins Thursday, April 1, ahead of Election Day voting next week.

In Ardmore, voters in the northeast Ward 2 will decide between four candidates for city commission: Brad Blackwood, Steward Blake Gordon, Jr., Angela Sharp and John Alfred Credle, Jr. The Ward 2 seat was long occupied by John Moore who announced in January he would not seek reelection after 25 years on the commission.

More:A quarter-century of service: Longtime Ardmore City Commissioner John Moore to retire

Voters in the southwest Ward 3 will decide between three candidates for city commission: Eric Howard, David Plesher and Barbara E. Hisey. The winner will be the first to occupy that commission seat since Martin Dyer was elected in 1985.

The Ward 3 commission seat has been vacant since Dyer's death on Jan. 5, according to staff at Ardmore City Hall on Tuesday.

More:Longtime City Commissioner Martin Dyer dies

Commission candidates took part in a public forums hosted by the Ardmore chapter of the NAACP earlier this month and Ardmore Chamber of Commerce Tuesday night .

In Dickson, voters will decide whether to keep Jack D. Jones on the Dickson school board or replace him with Bobby Black. Voters in Springer will decide whether Jessica Scott, Charlene Robinson or Shay Wise will serve as the town clerk-treasurer.

Davis Public Schools, which stretches into a portion of  northern Carter County, will see a contest between Lee Henley and Neeley Nichole Barnett for a seat on the board of education.

Surrounding counties will also see plenty of local races. Murray County voters in the Sulphur Public Schools district will decide between Clifford Agee and Jo Helen Bell for a seat on the board of education. 

Some Love County voters will decide between Paula Williams and Michael Hendsbee to occupy a seat on the Thackerville Board of Education.

In Marshall County, five candidates are vying for a seat on the Kingston Board of Trustees while four candidates seek a position on the Oakland Board of Trustees.

In Johnston County, three candidates are running for the Ward 4 seat on the Tishomingo City Council and five candidates are running for the Ravia Board of Trustees. Two races in Mannsville will also decide the Mannsville treasurer's race and fill a seat on the board of trustees.

Carter County Election Board Secretary Diane Hall said that candidates in local races are decided by a plurality, or whoever gets the most votes, rather than a majority.

"No runoffs, just whoever gets the most votes," she said by phone on Tuesday.

She said 139 absentee ballots were requested from the Carter County election board and 38 of them had been returned by midday Tuesday. Those who requested an absentee ballot must return it to their county election board by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 5.

Early voting in Carter, Jefferson, Johnston, Love, Marshall and Murray counties will be on Thursday and Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day. Early voting on Saturday will not be available.

Election Day voting will be on Tuesday, April 6, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Hall said Carter County precincts will be the same as November 2020.