Polling places will open on Tuesday for a big Election Day in the City of Tulsa, but at least three of those locations won’t have a single voter.
The Catoosa voting location in Rogers County, for example, will be open for 12 hours on Tuesday but won’t have one voter cast a ballot here. The location has to open because of a stretch of fence on the Port of Catoosa despite the ballots in Rogers County being blank with no elections.
Officials say it happens every time the City of Tulsa has an election because the fence line is considered the City of Tulsa property even though it stretches into Rogers County.
Julie Dermody is the county’s Election Board Secretary and she says she’s been trying to take care of this issue since taking her job almost 10 years ago.
“It’s kind of hard to wrap your mind around. To understand why it’s happening. But it could certainly save taxpayers money if we just took care of it right up front,” said Dermody.
She says three poll workers will wait at the location and six more between locations in Owasso and Verdigris for nobody to come vote all day. The bill for these locations to stay open adds up and Dermody says it’s been costing taxpayers thousands of dollars for years. Dermody says that until 2012 there were five precincts in the county that had to open, but she was able to narrow it down to three through redistricting.
She says she’s reached out to the City of Tulsa to try and fix the issue but has had no luck.