Some Tulsa Voters Not Given Mayoral Ballot, Election Board Confirms


Tuesday, June 28th 2016, 11:40 am
By: Emory Bryan


Several precincts didn’t give voters city ballots Tuesday morning. That could have an impact on city races, including the race for Mayor between Dewey Bartlett and G.T. Bynum.

Election Board Secretary Patty Bryant said volunteers were confused about the non-partisan city election for mayor and did not hand out the white ballot to some voters.

Republicans get one ballot, Democrats and Independents get another, but everyone was supposed to get a City of Tulsa ballot with the mayor, and, in some cases, city council races on it.

The phones started ringing at the election board early Tuesday morning with confused voters wondering why they didn't get a ballot for the mayor's race.

In one case, voters reported the problems lasted more than an hour.

The confusion took place from about 7 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. at the Memorial Drive Church of Christ, Bryant confirmed. She said workers did not understand that every voter, regardless of party affiliation, was supposed to get the mayoral ballot.

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"I hope that we caught it soon enough and that voters know that they can vote if they did not get the city of Tulsa ballot so hopefully that'll take care of any questions but, I mean, we want to do the right thing," said Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Patty Bryant.

The election board ended up calling every precinct to reinforce that everyone in Tulsa gets a city ballot.

Patty Bryan said, "And if there are any voters in the City of Tulsa that did not get that ballot, they can go back to the poll and vote that ballot."

While party affiliation mattered in the other races, city voters should also get the ballot for “independent municipal officers."

Both of the major Mayoral campaigns said they had reports of people not getting to vote in their races.

Bynum's campaign called News On 6 saying multiple precincts are involved. We have had reports that both Republicans and Democrats did not receive the ballot for mayor when they went to vote.

“You work so hard to get to this day and you want to just have a clean assessment of where the citizens stand and who they want to lead this city for the next four years, and to have all this happening is a real disappointment,” Bynum said.

The candidates said it was too early to know the impact on the election.

Bartlett said, "What we want to see, of course, is transparency. We want to have confidence that our system of voting works properly, is audited properly. At the end of the day, if a problem is discovered they'll have the information to let us know what that might be."

If the election is contested, there is already a court date set for 9 a.m. July 6th.