Voter turnout sets record

Canadian County voters turned out in droves Tuesday as they helped decide several local, state and federal races.
In Yukon, voters overwhelmingly re-elected Jay Steagall to serve a second term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Steagall, a Republican from Yukon, defeated Independent candidate Cassie Kinet.
Steagall received 13,320 votes compared to Kinet’s 5,040. He serves as representative for District 43.
Voters in the western part of the county elected Anthony Moore to serve as state representative for District 57.
Meanwhile, Paul Rosino was elected to his first full term in the Senate. He defeated Jennifer Wilkinson by a count of 13,084 to 4,807 in the county.
Rosino serves an area of southeastern Canadian County as well as Oklahoma County.
Also, voters chose to keep Jim Inhofe in the U.S. Senate. He carried 67 percent of the county’s vote, while Democrat Abby Broyles received 28 percent of the tally.
Three other candidates carried the remainder of the 61,602 ballots that were cast in the county.
Some voters also cast ballots for the 3rd Congressional seat, which saw Frank Lucas (R-Cheyenne) defeat Zoe Midyett, a Democrat.
Lucas received 38,490 votes in Canadian County. Midyet received 13,275.
In the 4th Congressional District, Tom Cole easily won re-election, receiving 76 percent of the county’s vote. Democrat Mary Brannon received 20 percent, while Bob White, a Libertarian, received 4 percent.
Also at the state level, Todd Hiett received 79 percent of the county vote to win re-election to the corporation commission.
President Donald J. Trump also carried the county, receiving 70 percent of the vote. Joe Biden, the Democrat challenger, received 27 percent of the vote, followed by Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian candidate with almost 2 percent.
Each of the judicial seats was approved overwhelmingly.
Meanwhile, voters in Canadian County overwhelmingly rejected two state questions.
SQ 805, which would have changed sentencing guidelines for repeat felonies, was opposed by 62 percent of county voters.
SQ 814, which would have altered the state constitution related to funding from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Fund, was opposed by almost 60 percent of voters.
Currently, 75 percent of funds from a tobacco settlement goes into the endowment, 25 percent goes into the general fund.
The state question would have reversed that formula.
Rosino said he was disappointed SQ 814 was rejected because the money would have been used to expand the state’s Medicaid program.
“Unfortunately, on SQ 814, we may not have educated people well enough to make them understand, and what really was happening with that,” Rosino said. “We’ll just have to find another funding mechanism and a different area to pay for Medicaid expansion.”
He said the Legislature was looking to receive funding for expansion from TSET because it funds many health care programs.
Rosino said one possibility for funding could be the Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program, which was created in 2011 with the intent of assuring access to quality care for Oklahoma Medicaid members.
With this program, many hospitals pay a fee that could be increased to help fund Medicaid expansion, he said.
Voters in Oklahoma City overwhelmingly approved nine charter changes during the election.
Canadian County Election Board Secretary Wanda Armold said Tuesday’s election set a record for the number of votes cast with 62,040.
However, the percentage of voters was down slightly from the 2016 election.
She said the difference is the number of eligible votes has increased significantly.
In the 2016 election, there were 75,396 eligible voters. Of those, 55,870 cast ballots. That is 74 percent.
In Tuesday’s election, there were 88,820 possible voters. Of those, 62,040 voted. That is 70 percent.
In the 2012 presidential election, there were 66,924 registered voters, of which 46,385, or 69.31 percent, voted.
“Out of that many voters, I felt it was a really good turnout. Some may have moved away or been too sick to vote,” she said.
Others might have seen the long lines and opted against waiting around, Armold said.
Wait times at some precincts was significant. Armold said there were some voters who waited more than three hours.
In addition to the votes that have already been tabulated, there also are 282 provisional ballots that were expected to be certified Friday.
The state election board will certify state results on Wednesday.

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