Some residents don’t realize they’re eligible to vote in Oklahoma City elections

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - The votes are in and the MAPS 4 initiative overwhelmingly passed, but with the lowest number of MAPS votes ever.

The election spanned across Oklahoma City’s jurisdiction, even including some voters in other counties.

“I didn’t get anything in the mail discussing it. I heard it on the news,” said Tim McGee, who lives in Pottawatomie County.

McGee has lived in Pottawatomie County for a year now, but he just learned he can vote in Oklahoma City elections.

“I was surprised because I was at Pottawatomie County offices yesterday, paying them taxes, and I didn’t get anything in the mail,” McGee said.

McGee is 1 of 49 registered voters in Pottawatomie County who fall under Oklahoma City jurisdiction. Meaning they can vote in city elections, like for mayor and even the most recent MAPS 4 election.

MAPS 4 passed overwhelmingly with 72 percent of the votes, despite having the lowest voter turnout of all MAPS initiatives.

The city said 44,439 people voted in the MAPS 4 election. MAPS 3 had 75,421 votes. MAPS for Kids had 60,855 and the very first MAPS had 61,129 voters.

“The low turnout was a disappointment to us and city hall because we want everybody to exercise the right to vote,” said Kristy Yager, City of Oklahoma City Public Information Officer.

Despite having a small number of voters eligible for this election, the Pottawatomie County election board said they sent press releases informing voters beforehand.

“I think they may not be aware. We have had votes in the past, because I’ve been doing this for 28 years and we have had voters from the Oklahoma City limits vote, but it’s never been large numbers,” said Jeanie Stover, Pottawatomie County Election Board Secretary.

To keep from missing an election, the Oklahoma County Election Board encourages voters to sign up to vote by mail.

“Then whether you know there’s an election you’re eligible to vote in or not, we’ll mail you a ballot,” said Doug Sanderson, Oklahoma County Election Board Secretary.

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