Monday, November 1, 2010

Historic Election May Increase Turnout

By Michael McNutt/The Oklahoman ~ An all-female gubernatorial race may attract a larger number of voters to the polls, the state's top election official says.

A general feeling of frustration with Congress and the president, along with races for eight statewide officials and 11 state questions on the ballot, also may boost voter participation, said Paul Ziriax, secretary of the state Election Board.

Early voting for Tuesday's election is under way at county election boards. Registered voters who want to avoid the polls or will be out of town may vote in person by absentee ballot today. Those who are in-person absentee voting must cast their ballots at their county election board from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.

"Given the excitement that's going on in the state and nationally about these elections, given the fact that Oklahoma voters are going to make history by electing our first woman governor, given the fact that we have a number of statewide office and state questions that are getting a lot of publicity, given the fact that in certain areas of the state there are some very competitive down-ballot races, whether they be for county office or state House or state Senate, I think there are plenty of reasons that voters could be excited about this election," he said.

"I would kind of expect turnout to be somewhere in the neighborhood of what we saw in 2002 or 1994 and wouldn't be surprised if it might even be a little bit higher than that," he said.

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