Election Logistics

Every vote counts.

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The U.S. general election of 2016, set for Nov. 8, will be the 58th time to pick a president. Presidential campaigns have evolved into a series of aggressively fought, contentious contests played out in a 24-hour news cycle. However, what most people don’t see is the process of running a presidential election in the state.

2,000,000 ballots were printed for the general election in Oklahoma.

2,000,000 ballots were printed for the general election in Oklahoma.

When registering to vote in the state of Oklahoma you can either choose a party (those recognized are Republican, Democratic and Libertarian) or you can register as Independent/No Party.

When registering to vote in the state of Oklahoma you can either choose a party (those recognized are Republican, Democratic
and Libertarian) or you can register as Independent/No Party.

“We work many months in advance to train poll workers and organize the general election,” says Bryan Dean, public information officer with the Oklahoma State Election Board. “We start the ballot printing process the weekend after the August runoff. This year’s runoff was Aug. 23, and we started the ballot generation process the weekend after.”

This year, about 2 million ballots were printed for the general election, Dean says. “We print slightly more than the number of registered voters.” The number of absentee ballots mailed was slightly lower.

Oklahoma ballots are only offered in English.

Oklahoma ballots are only offered in English.

Registered voters can get sample ballots online at www.elections.ok.gov.

Registered voters can get sample ballots online at www.elections.ok.gov.

“It varies based on the number of people who apply for absentee ballots,” Dean says. “We won’t have a final tally until after the election, as people can request absentee ballots up until the Wednesday before the election. We had about 112,000 absentee ballots cast in the 2012 election. It very well could be more this year.”

No states run their elections quite the same; each has its own election rules. The Oklahoma State Election Board, established in 1907 under the state constitution, administers state elections and oversees the 77 county election boards.

Oklahoma ballots do not include a place to write in names of candidates who were neither nominated by parties nor qualified by petition. Write-in votes are not counted.

Oklahoma ballots do not include a place to write in names of candidates who were neither nominated by parties nor qualified by petition. Write-in votes are not counted.

Turnout for presidential elections tends to be higher than normal with 60 percent of registered voters or more participating.

Turnout for presidential elections tends to be
higher than normal with 60 percent of registered voters or more participating.

There are roughly 8,200 poll workers throughout the state on Election Day, Dean says. State law requires at least three workers in each polling place, with at least one from each of the two largest parties. Those three positions are inspector, judge and clerk. There may be additional workers at busier polling places.

A poll worker can work more than 12 hours on Election Day and is paid a stipend.

Oklahoma uses optical scanners. Marked ballots are scanned by a machine that counts the votes. The paper ballots are kept in a locked box and returned, along with the voting machines, to the county election board after polls close. In a public meeting, county election board personnel remove data from the machines and plug it into a computer that uploads the results.

Oklahoma uses optical scanners. Marked ballots are scanned by a machine that counts the votes. The paper ballots are kept in a locked box and returned, along with the voting machines, to the county election board after polls close. In a public meeting, county election board personnel remove data from the machines and plug it into a computer that uploads the results.

Three ways to prove your identity are: PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. COUNTY ELECTION BOARD VOTER IDENTIFICATION CARD. AFFIDAVIT WITH PROVISIONAL BALLOT

Three ways to prove your identity are: PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. COUNTY ELECTION BOARD VOTER IDENTIFICATION CARD. AFFIDAVIT WITH PROVISIONAL BALLOT

“The current stipend is $87 for judges and clerks and $97 for inspectors,” says Dean. Some workers are eligible for mileage. Poll workers must go to a one-day training session at least once every two years.

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