It wasn’t a record, but it was historic.
As county election board officials worked Wednesday to finalize numbers from Tuesday’s vote, one thing is certain: Social and politically the 2008 presidential election was historic, but vote-wise it probably was just a good turnout.
“It was about a 71 percent turnout,” said county election board secretary Paula Roberts. “We had a total registration of 151,081, with 106,602 voting.”
She said the county’s record for turnout was set in 1980 during the Jimmy Carter-Ronald Reagan race for president.
But even though Tuesday’s vote didn’t break records, it was seen as history-making with the election of the first black president: Sen. Barack Obama. Nationwide, Obama captured 349 Electoral College votes to defeat Republican Challenger John McCain, who earned 163.
But Obama didn’t do as well locally.
Unofficial election returns show McCain won Cleveland County with 64,730 votes, or about 62 percent. Obama captured 39,673 votes or roughly 38 percent. In McClain County, McCain received 11,184 votes compared to 3,550 for Barack Obama.
Things got even more complicated further down the ticket.
There, voters when back and forth across the political spectrum to choose their public officials.
Countywide, Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe earned 51,274 votes — 54.70 percent — to Democrat Andrew Rice’s 38,322 votes, or 40.88 percent. The race’s Independent candidate, Stephen P. Wallace, captured 4,139 votes.
Additionally, more than 11,291 residents “under voted” in the Senate race, meaning they voted Tuesday, but did not cast a ballot in the Senate contest.
The under vote phenomenon, Roberts said, is common.
“A lot of people come in just to vote for president,” she said. “They didn’t know about other races or they didn’t care about other races.”
Other problems, such as the ballot’s awkward design also could have contributed to many people’s missing the race. “We have had problems like that in the past,” she said.
The Inhofe-Rice match-up wasn’t the only contest under voted.
In the race for the county’s Fourth Congressional District, incumbent Republican Tom Cole captured 59,870 votes — about 64.55 percent — to Democrat Blake Cummings’ 28,113 — 30.31 percent. Independent David E. Joyce had 4,768 votes, or 5.14 percent.
In that race, the under votes totaled 12,270.
On the state level, Republican Jeff Cloud won a full-term seat on the state Corporation Commission with 62,471 votes to Democrat Charles Gray’s 37,901.
Records list 4,658 under votes for the contest.
In a race where, literally, every vote counted, Republican Dana Murphy slipped past incumbent Democrat Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth 52,223 to 48,953.
In that contest 3,854 voters didn’t pick a candidate.
Other races included:
State Senate District 15 — Republican Jonathan Nichols, 17,984; Democrat Diane Drum, 12,702. Under votes: 1,135.
State Senate District 17 — Republican Donald Rominger, Jr., 1,160; Charlie Laster, Democrat, 857. Under votes: 35.
State Senate District 43 — Jim Reynolds, Republican, 6,445; David Boren, Democrat, 4,517. Under votes: 283.
State Representative District 27 — Shane Jett, Republican, 1,626; Cole Koszara, Democrat, 802. Under votes: 80.
State Representative District 42 — Republican Lisa J. Billy, 221; Democrat Brad Perry, 186. Under votes: 11.
State Representative District 44 — Republican Tod J. Barrett, 4,822; Democrat Bill Nations, 8,951. Under votes: 674.
State Representative District 45 — Aaron Stiles, Republican, 8,220; Wallace Collins, 9,132. Under votes: 493.
State Representative District 46 — Scott Martin, Republican, 10,158; Miranda Norman, Democrat, 5,659. Under votes: 645.
State Representative District 53 — Republican Randy Terrill, 11,723; Democrat Troy Green, 7,012. Under votes: 567.
State Representative District 101 — Gary Banz, Republican, 524; Democrat Donnie Lewis, 227. Under votes: 27.
Cleveland County Sheriff — Joe Lester, Republican, 60,587; Democrat Rick Adkins, 39,853. Under votes: 4,603.
While Roberts said Tuesday’s voting went smoothly, county officials did have problems with one voting machine in Precinct 22, located in Moore.
“It’s a problem that happens occasionally,” she said. “But it’s usually only noticed in larger elections.”
Roberts said the voting machine had a power surge and stopped working “for a while.”
“When that happens we follow procedures,” she said. “Residents go ahead and mark their ballot then put that ballot in the emergency bin.”
Once the machine is repaired and the polls are closed, workers then feed the earlier ballots back into the machine; then pull the machine’s official vote count.
“One of the workers forgot to feed the ballots through before they counted the machine’s votes,” she said. “And because the ballots in the emergency bin became mixed with other ballots from the evening, the entire vote for the precinct was recounted.”
By doing that, she said, workers made sure each ballot was counted.
“They came back here and we recounted every ballot,” she said. “It took longer than anticipated because there were two ballots in the race. But we wanted every vote to count.”
It wasn’t a record, but it was historic.
This Week's Circulars
This Week's Circulars
Fran Dunagan, age 83, passed away July 29, 2020. She was born June 6, 2020 in Holdenville, OK. Survived by 6 children; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; and 1 brother. For full obituary visit irelandfuneralhome.com. (John Ireland Funeral Home, Moore, OK.)
Loretta Jane Hern Rethard, age 87, of Moore, OK, passed from this life May 19, 2020, from pancreatic cancer at the Oklahoma VA Hospital. She was born in Atkins, Arkansas to John A. Hern and Rosa M. Hern. Loretta graduated from Hector High School as valedictorian, then from Arkansas Baptist H…
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