Tulsa County Election Board Prepares For High Voter Turnout
TULSA, Oklahoma - More than 1,000 poll workers are resting up for a busy Tuesday.
Early voting numbers for Tulsa County are leading election officials to believe turnout could be as strong as the 2016 presidential primaries.
We all remember how contentious that national primary was. For a statewide primary to surpass that is huge.
That’s why extra poll workers will be on hand at the larger precincts.
At the Tulsa County Election Board, 1,300 poll workers stocked up on supplies, rolling out gear for all 262 precincts in preparation for Tuesday.
“Just the sheer numbers of people alone is rather challenging,” said Gwen Freeman from the Tulsa County Election Board. “In addition, some of our bigger precincts, we’re trying to staff with extra precinct workers so that when folks come in to vote, they don’t have to wait in line so long.”
A record number of candidates filed to run for state office this year and there’s a huge spike in voter registrations.
“I think everyone is a little surprised at this. We obviously knew something was up when we saw such an uptick in voter registration,” said Freeman.
On this date in 2016, nearly 2,700 new voters had registered for the presidential primary.
For this statewide primary, there have been more than 7,000 voter registration applications.
“When you look at the teacher walkout, when you look at the fact that it’s a gubernatorial election, and then added on top of that all is question 788, the medical marijuana issue,” Freeman said. “We think that’s driving a lot of the voters to come out.”
Election officials say 43 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in the 2016 presidential primary and this midterm election could reach 50 to 60 percent voter turnout at the polls.
Freeman says “there may be a few lines. We encourage you to be patient, as well, and go ahead and cast your vote. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. [Tuesday].”
The election board says the most common question they received from voters on Monday was asking where to vote.
You can find your polling place here.