A county tax question, seven school board races and the Republican and Democrat presidential preferential primaries could result in a record number of voters participating Tuesday. Election workers say they are ready.
Absentee and in-person balloting is already under way, with early voting still available at the County Election Board Office on Monday, 8 a.m.
to 6 p.m.
Election Board Secretary Terri Thomas said as of Saturday morning they had about 200 absentee voters.
Thomas said considering “this is the first time we’ve had the annual school elections with the presidential primary” that number is not necessarily a higher than usual turn-out.
Howevere, “early on, we were very busy the last day of voter registration and had planned for it to be pretty busy,” Thomas said.
Thomas reminded voters that although those registered as Independents will not be able to vote in the presidential primary, all registered voters are eligible to vote in school elections and on the county tax question.
Oklahoma conducts closed primaries meaning only voters registered in a political party with state recognized candidates are eligible to vote in that party’s elections.
State election Board Secretary Michael Clingman said it stands to reason some Oklahoma voters are confused since other states such as Iowa and New Hampshire allow those registered as Independent to participate.
Following is a review of the vote:
Only Democrats and Republicans will vote.
Seven candidates appear on the Democrat ballot: Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Christopher J. Dodd, Barack Obama, Dennis J. Kuchinich, John Edwards and Jim Rogers.
Eleven candidates appear on the Republican ballot: John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Tom Tancredo, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Daniel Gilbert, Jerry R. Curry, Alan L. Keyes and Fred Thompson.
Some candidates have announced withdrawal of their presidential bid. However, their names remain on the Oklahoma ballot.
All county voters, regardless of party affiliation will vote on the county question and in the annual school elections by district.
This countywide vote proposes to renew the current one cent sales tax on the proceeds of goods and services throughout Rogers County for the purpose of raising money to construct, improve, maintain and repair county roads and bridges. The tax is not an increase, but extends current funding.
School district elections are nonpartisan. Voters will be deciding school board races as follows:
Office No. 3 which is a five-year term, will be voted on by patrons of the Inola, Foyil, Verdigris, Sequoyah, Chelsea and Catoosa districts. Office No. 1, a three-year term, will be decided in the Justus-Tiawah District.
Candidates in these school districts are:
•Inola — Mary L. Stout and Shane McNichol
•Foyil — Mike Dennis, Donald Storie and Terry Ridgway
•Verdigris — Curtis R. Butler and Matthew Tucker
•Sequoyah — Steve Dowty and Scott Rhine
•Chelsea — Dan Bunn, Rebecca L. Fincher and John H. Lockhart
•Catoosa — William E. Pruett and Bruce W. Johnson
•Justus-Tiawah — Steve Chapman and Tracy J. Patton
Polls will be open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Early voting can be done at the Election Board Office on Monday, 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., 216 S. Missouri.