In October, State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said that nearly 68,000 new voters had registered in Oklahoma since Jan. 1. Of those, more than two-thirds or 45,094 voters registered as Republican. Registered Democrats increased by only 6,940 voters.
“That’s something we’ve got to work on, obviously,” said Collins, who currently serves as the Oklahoma Democratic chair. “We thought we could make some gains this time, and we didn’t. We still actually have more Democrats registered than Republicans, but we can’t get them to vote this way.”
On Tuesday, the biggest glitch in counting votes in a timely manner at the Cleveland County Election Board was an unexpected issue resulting from mail-in absentee ballots.
When the election board mailed out absentee ballots, they included return envelopes for those ballots. New ballots fold differently than older ballots and fit more tightly into the older envelopes. When election board staff tried to run those envelopes through the automatic mail opener Tuesday, the machine was slicing ballots, which was unacceptable.
“We had to open 5,000 envelopes by hand,” Williams said.
That meant hours more work by election staff than had been anticipated.