Oklahoma officials expect record breaking turnout for presidential election
OKLAHOMA CITY – There are no voters at the Oklahoma County Election Board, but it almost feels busy.
“It’s a typical Election Day,” said Board Secretary Doug Sanderson. “What gets you in a presidential election is just the sheer volume, that’s the thing.”
Workers and volunteers stayed in motion, answering what seemed to be a constant stream of phone calls. In a back room, they sort absentee ballots, preparing to count them as soon as the polls close.
“There’s so much visibility associated with the presidential election,” said Sanderson. “Everyone’s interested in it. Everybody comes to vote and it’s basically what we see in a presidential election.”
Oklahoma reported record numbers for early turnout, smashing previous records. Sanderson said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the overall turnout record broken too.
Volunteers at polling places, many of whom have worked multiple elections, tend to agree.
“I could feel a difference,” said Melody Watt, who had to ask the county for additional ballots. “It was much busier.”
Voters noticed too. Some drove past hour-long lines in the morning, electing instead to try the early afternoon.
“We’ve lived here for quite a few years and have voted here for a long time. I’ve never seen that kind of turnout,” said Larry Neighbors. “This year was just really different and I feel like even if you’re not interested in politics, maybe the antics this year got you involved and got you out.”
Political parties made phone calls and drove voters to the polls in an attempt to increase turnout.
The state did not report any significant issues with voting equipment, crediting a year’s worth of preparation for a highly anticipated presidential election.