OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Voters headed to their polling precincts, many lit by candles and flashlights amid a widespread power outage, and overwhelmingly approved all facets of an $835 million bond issue proposal aimed at providing for municipal needs.
With all 271 precincts reporting Wednesday, the 11 propositions that were part of the bond issue proposal passed with approval margins ranging from 78 percent to 88.7 percent, according to unofficial election results from the Oklahoma County Election Board.
City officials, led by Mayor Mick Cornett, had touted the vote as being critical to the city's future. Since voters approved the Metropolitan Area Projects tax in 1996, it has become routine for quality-of-life proposals put forth by city leaders to pass.
"People are proud of their city and elections like this give them the opportunity to say it out loud," Cornett said Tuesday night. "I think they're pleased with what we've created, creating a city where people want to live.
"People understand bond issues are investments in streets, parks, public safety. People in Oklahoma City are starting to understand the quality of life that we've created."
Of the bond issue, $497 million is to be dedicated toward road construction and repair. Money also will be available to repair and build bridges, work on traffic control and drainage control systems, improve parks, build a new fire station in south Oklahoma City and refurbish the Oklahoma City police headquarters.
Libraries, city maintenance facilities and the city transit system also will receive funds from the bond issue, as well as the city's economic development efforts.
Twenty polling places went without power as the area struggles to recover from power outages caused by an ice storm that hit Oklahoma early in the week. Cornett said some precinct workers worked in cold temperatures and used flashlights to perform their duties.
Because of the power outages, ballots in some precincts were taken to the county election board offices to be counted. That process continued until early Wednesday.
"If we didn't have all the power issues, we would have had things wrapped up by 10 o'clock," said Oklahoma County Election Board Secretary Doug Sanderson. "On this one, I left at 2:15 a.m., so it was quite a substantial delay."
There were various elections around the state:
-- In Enid, a school bond issue failed to receive the 60 % necessary for passage, with the two propositions in the proposal receiving 58.7 % and 59.2 %, respectively.
-- In Norman, voters approved two separate school bond issues, a $42 million, two-year bond issue to build a new primary school and construct classrooms, and $865,000 for transportation equipment.
-- In Edmond, voters approved a $28.9 million school bond issue to add space to five schools.
-- At Fox Public Schools in Carter County, voters approved a $1.24 million bond issue for school improvements and a separate $355,000 proposal for new school buses.
-- At Gypsy Public Schools in Creek County, voters rejected a $1.7 million bond issue for a new gymnasium.
-- At Drumright Schools in Creek County, voters approved a $10 million bond issue for a new middle school, softball field and technology upgrades.
-- At Jenks Public Schools, voters approved a $20.9 million bond issue for new construction and a $600,000 proposal for transportation equipment.
-- In Collinsville in Tulsa County, voters approved a 25-year franchise tax to Oklahoma Natural Gas Company to use public ways to deliver gas and a separate 5 % motel tax.
-- In Coweta in Wagoner County, voters rejected a half-percent sales tax for capital improvements.