Heading to the polls

Drew Butler
Sample ballot for Ratliff City’s proposition.

Voters across the state will be going to the polls on June 30 to cast their votes on State Question 802, congressional primaries, and a wide range of county and local elections. Voters must be registered by June 5 in order to be eligible to participate.

Prospective voters must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of Oklahoma and at lest 18 years older. One place to register is at your local county election board. The Carter County Election Board is located at 25 A St. NW in Ardmore. Voters can also register when updating their driving license or ID at their tag agent.

While the state of Oklahoma does not yet have online registration available for first time voters, voters who are already registered to vote can update their registration online at https://www.ok.gov/elections as long as their address of residence is in the same county as their previous address. Those registering for the first time will be able to fill out the application online, but it must be printed and mailed in to their local election board. The printed application must be signed and dated.

While the majority of the ballots will be specific to either registered Democrats or registered Republicans, the state question and some local elections are open to all voters. State Question 802 deals with Medicaid expansion in the state of Oklahoma. Voters in Ratliff City will vote yes or no on a proposition that would set the town Board of Trustees at three members who are nominated and elected at large, regardless of their place of residence within the town’s corporate limits. In Wilson, voters can cast ballots for Bonnie Kennedy or Rex L. Rutledge for Councilmember Ward 1.

The Republican ballot contains a number of different races for various county, state and national positions. In Carter County three candidates are running for the office of sheriff. Chris Bryant is running to retain his position and will be facing two opponents, John Robert Randolph III and Phillip Wolfenbarger. In order to win the office, the candidate receiving the most votes must get more than 50% of all votes cast. If that threshold is not met, the two candidates receiving the most votes will head into a runoff on August 25. Eligible voters will also be able to cast their ballot for County Commissioner District No. 2 and can choose between incumbent Bill Baker and challenger Steve Robinson.

Statewide, Republicans will also be voting for the office of corporation commissioner and can choose between incumbent Todd Hiett and challenger Harold D. Spradling.

Four candidates are running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senator. Incumbent Jim Inhofe will face challengers John Tompkins, JJ Stitt and Neil Mavis. The office of U.S. Representative District 4 also has four candidates where incumbent Tom Cole will be facing Gilbert O. Sanders, James Taylor and Trevor Sipes.

The Democrats will be holding their primary elections to select candidates for Congress, and registered Democrats as well as registered Independents will be able to cast their vote. Four candidates — Abby Broils, Sheila Bilyeu, R.O. Cassity, Jr. and Elysabeth Britt — are running to be the nominee for United States Senator. Three candidates — Mary Brannon, John D. Argo, and David R. Slemmons — are running to be nominee for U.S. Representative District 4.