Tulsa Mayor Candidates Keep Close Eye On Turnout Ahead Of Election Day
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa voters could choose their next mayor Tuesday, or at least narrow down the candidates.
There's a primary election for mayor with five people on the ballot, only three of whom are actively campaigning for your vote. Each of the candidates believe they have a real shot at, at least making it to a runoff, but one of them could win outright Tuesday, in Tulsa's first non-partisan mayor's race.
The polls will be open for 12 hours, but it only takes about 12 minutes to get a precinct set up. The election board hires off-duty firefighters to haul in and set up the heavy equipment. The ballots are handled separately by precinct workers who are getting ready to help people vote.
"You have people who come in blind and they need help. Yes, it's gratifying and it's a service," said precinct worker Charlie Portman.
The early voting wrapped up Monday, and the numbers indicate there's at least some interest.
"It means either a lot of people are busy Tuesday, or they're thinking about it, because it's on the news, but it doesn't necessarily mean more turnout," said Shelly Boggs, of the Tulsa County Election Board.
At the campaign headquarters for Mayor Dewey Bartlett, supporters were making calls to get out their voters.
"We're doing a lot of phone calls, knocking on doors still, following up with people who are undecided, or they need more information, but the main purpose is to remind people to vote," Bartlett said.
Former Mayor Kathy Taylor spent part of the day campaigning at a Drillers game, and she too believes turnout will be important.
"I'm concerned, because this is the first time people have voted in a non-partisan race in Tulsa, that they don't understand that everybody can vote on June 11," Taylor said.
The independence of the candidates has them all trying to reach everyone to pick up some votes.
"During my campaign, I have not differentiated between Republicans, Democrats or Independents, because the end of the day it's a non-partisan election. Everybody gets to vote tomorrow and that's a good thing," Christiansen said.
The precincts open at 7 a.m. and stay open until 7 p.m. Tune into News On 6 right afterward for the fastest returns on air and online.