Weather ended controversy surrounding a millage increase vote for Northeast Technology Center when rain and ice swept northeast Oklahoma and left several communities and their polling places without power.

Monday afternoon, NTC officials announced the election had been canceled.

“The Board voted to cancel the election,” said Superintendent Dell Heavener Jr. at 2 p.m. Monday following a special meeting of the NTC Board of Education. “We’ll discuss whether or not to reschedule at a future Board meeting. The only action taken today was to cancel the election Tuesday.”

According to Heavener, the Board called the special meeting at 1:45 p.m. Monday to decide the matter.

“The board called the election, and they’re the ones that have to take action on canceling it,” Heavener said earlier.

Election officials said they had to proceed with election plans until notified in writing by officials from NTC.

“There’s no provision for us to cancel the election,” Terri Thomas, Rogers County Election Board secretary, told the Progress Monday morning. She said cancellation would have to come from the technology center.

“We have some polling places that have no electricity,” said Thomas. “We’re trying to come up with some plans.”

Mayes County, the parent election board, also continued preparations.

“As far as I’m concerned the election will happen unless they walk in here with a cancellation,” Jill McCullah of the Mayes County Election Board said Monday morning. “We’re in the process of trying to get alternate sites set up.”

Two unrelated propositions on the ballot in Collinsville will be held as scheduled. Monday afternoon, Thomas said those elections would take place according to Tulsa, the parent county of that election.

Freedom Baptist Church, one of Rogers County’s polling places in Collinsville, was without power as of 1 p.m. Monday. Thomas said, “We may be looking for an alternative site.”

Thomas said in her experience, problems with power failure at polling sites due to weather was a first, and the election board was taking things one step at a time.

Mother Nature may have done voters and NTC a favor in resolving a dilemma that arose last week as complaints concerning the millage increase arose. Tuesday’s vote was surrounded in controversy due to lack of publication in area newspapers.

Critics also said the 400 percent millage increase for building on the ballot was not designated for a particular project and could be permanent. If passed, the increase will affect annual property taxes as an ad valorem assessment.

The two propositions on the ballot in the NTC special election likely would have been contested due to a lack of adequate publication according to Mike Clingman of the Oklahoma Election Board.



Contact Joy Hampton at 341-1101 or at news4@claremoreprogress.com