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State Election Official Says Voter Interest At Low Ebb

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- State election officials say voter interest seems at a low ebb with one-and-one-half weeks left for non-registered voters to sign up to cast ballots in the November 7th general election.

State Election Board Secretary Michael Clingman says his office is not getting many telephone calls that would indicate a lot of interest in the election. He says that's a bit surprising before a general election.

He is anticipating a smaller turnout than four years ago, when more than one million voters turned out for a non-presidential election. He says the lack of interest probably indicates a strong incumbent at the top of the ticket.

Democratic Governor Brad Henry has a sizable lead in recent polls in his re-election bid against Republican Ernest Istook, who is leaving as 5th District congressman to run for statewide office.

Clingman said this year's turnout could be similar to when Republican Frank Keating was re-elected in 1998. About 873,000 voters turned out as the better-financed Keating easily defeated Democrat Laura Boyd.
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