Waiting In Line To Vote Early

Friday, October 31st 2008, 10:03 am
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Thousands lined up on Friday to cast early ballots in campaign 2008. You don't have to wait until Tuesday to cast your ballot. County election boards across the state opened their doors for early voters.

Those hoping to beat the Election Day rush did find themselves waiting.

With a little under an hour to go, the line was still out the door, but voters seem eager to make their voices heard.

The line was out the door, down the sidewalk, all the way to the street; early birds eager to have their say.

"It matters. Yes, it does. That's why I'm standing out here today," said Joseph Adams.

It's the first of three days of early voting in Oklahoma.

"I'm trying to get ahead of the crowd coming up for Tuesday's election. So I figured if I get out here now. Get my vote in, get it cast. It'll stand a better chance of getting counted in," said Adams.

But the rush to beat the rush led to quite a line.

"It's moving very fast. I'm amazed! The whole length of this line in about 20 minutes. We're up near the front," said Dan Cole.

Election board workers say the machine's running pretty smoothly. They've been gearing up for this all week.

"You have no idea how many elections that we go through the same amount of effort and time and energy and then nobody shows up. At least this time, this is worthwhile," said Shelly Boggs of the Tulsa County Election Board.

Workers are not only handling 400 people an hour, during early in-person voting. They're also processing more than 16,000 mailed in, absentee ballots.

"This is the only place in this county that you can vote early, until Tuesday. And on Tuesday the only place you can vote is at their polling place," said Boggs.

Lucille Cole says she didn't need to wait until Tuesday, her mind is made up.

"I've done all the research. I know already who I'm gonna vote for," said Cole.

So what happens to all of the early ballots?

They go into sealed boxes and a locked closet, waiting to be tabulated on Election Day.

Saturday the hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. And Monday, the hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Election board officials say first-time voters should bring some form of identification with them such as a driver's license or other photo ID.

If you miss the three early voting days, you can still vote on Tuesday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

For more election day information, CLICK HERE.