Tulsa mayoral race tops Tuesday’s ballot


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    A precinct worker checks in a voter at Wright Elementary School in Tulsa in June. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World file

    A precinct worker checks in a voter at Wright Elementary School in Tulsa in June. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World file

    If mail and in-person absentee voting is any indication, Tulsans’ turnout might be higher than usual for the elections that conclude Tuesday with regular in-person voting at local precincts.

    Voters in the city of Tulsa will cast nonpartisan ballots for mayor, seven City Council seats and five City Charter amendments.

    Three local Republican legislative primaries, a sales tax renewal in Glenpool, a bond issue in Jenks and Republican primaries for sheriff in Osage and Washington counties are also on the ballot.

    The Tulsa County Election Board said Monday that 27,606 absentee ballots were requested for this election. That is four times the number requested for the June 2016 mayoral election and almost as many as were mailed out for this year’s June 30 election, which included several legislative races and a controversial state question.

    With the 2,006 ballots that were cast during early in-person voting last week, that brings to nearly 30,000 the total number of absentee ballots for this election.

    That’s a high number, considering that fewer than 60,000 people — less than 30% of those eligible — voted in the 2016 mayoral election.

    Of course, not all the absentee ballots requested were returned and validated, and some of those returned and validated will be for the Jenks and Glenpool propositions.

    Still, it suggests a healthy interest in the city elections. Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman said a steady stream of voters delivered their absentee ballots by hand before Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

    Those who requested a mail ballot but did not return it may still vote in person at their local precincts. Trying to use both ballots is illegal, and voters who requested absentee ballots will be asked at the polls to certify that they did not return them.

    Heading the Tulsa ballot is the mayoral race involving incumbent G.T. Bynum and six active opponents. Bynum’s best-financed challenger is Greg Robinson.

    Also on the ballot are Craig Immel, Paul Tay, Ty Walker, Ken Reddick, Zackri Whitlow and Ricco Wright. Wright withdrew from the race but not in time to get his name off the ballot.

    Races in which no candidate receives a majority of votes will be determined in a Nov. 3 runoff.

    Legislatively, the most-watched local race is the Republican Senate District 35 matchup between Cheryl Baber and Kyden Creekpaum. The winner meets Democrat Jo Anna Dossett in the general election.

    House Districts 71 and 79 also have Republican runoffs, with the winners meeting Democratic incumbents on Nov. 3.

    HD 71 matches Beverly Atteberry and Mike Masters, and HD 79 has Clay Iiams against Margie Alfonso.

    A handful of other legislative runoffs will be decided statewide, with many jurisdictions having no election at all.

    Tulsa County officials said a handful of polling places have moved since the June 30 election. Those in affected precincts should have received mailed notification with new voter identification cards. Those unsure of their polling location may consult the Oklahoma Voter Portal at okvoterportal.okelections.us/.

    I have been with the Tulsa World since 1979. I’m a native of Hinton, Okla., and graduate of Oklahoma State University. I primarily cover government and politics. Phone: 918-581-8365

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    SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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