Voter frustration reaches all-time high


OKLAHOMA CITY — In Oklahoma, Election Day brought exceptionally long lines in some areas of the state.

Voters in all corners of Oklahoma County found themselves frustrated because of the wait and the way many were asked to cast their vote.

Oklahoma City resident Scott Lesser was asked to use a provisional ballot when he got to his westside polling place.

“Someone else signed their name on my line,” Lesser said. “It wasn’t my name. It wasn’t my signature. It didn’t match the one that was on my license.” 

Lesser was one of 1,752 Oklahoma County residents who filed a provisional ballot Tuesday, a 40-percent increase over the last Presidential Election in 2008.

“I’m glad they got it resolved,” Lesser said. “At first they told me I couldn’t vote at all. I thought, surely that’s not the solution, just to send me home and let them vote for me.”

The issue for hundreds of voters was confusion over the wait.

Both North Quail Creek and South Quail Creek neighborhoods vote at the same polling location, Northpark Mall.

However, the wait for many South Quail Creek residents was hours longer than North Quail Creek.

According to Oklahoma County Board Of Elections Director Doug Sanderson, the longest lines were for voters at the largest precincts.

Oklahoma County has 251 precincts but they are not all the same size.

Some precincts have 3,500 voters, others have 10 voters or fewer.

“We can’t have multiple house districts, senate districts, congressional districts, county commissioner districts in one precinct,” Sanderson said.

Federal, state, county and municipal authorities draw the precinct borders.

The election board does their best to keep them as small as resources allow.

“We want to do as best we can for the voter,” Sanderson said. “We hate the long lines, we hate that.”

Another big factor this election was the new voter I.D. law.

“The reality is it takes longer because of the voter I.D. law to process voters than it did in 2008,” Sanderson said.

Turnout in Oklahoma County was actually down from 2008, about 4 percent.

The Oklahoma State Board of Elections recommends voters consider casting ballots by mail in the future.

About 10 percent of voters have chosen this option.

Applications are available online: Oklahoma State Board of Elections.

The state will send a ballot to your home each election, to be returned by mail.