The vast majority of Oklahoma voters, with the exception of Libertarians in places with no local races, were eligible to participate in last week’s runoff election.
Most did not cast a ballot, according to unofficial results posted on the Oklahoma State Election Board website.
About a quarter of registered Republicans voted in last Tuesday’s U.S Senate runoff between Markwayne Mullin and T.W. Shannon. Turnout was generally higher in districts with a state House or Senate runoff on the ballot, as well as eastern Oklahoma’s second congressional district, where party members selected former state senator Josh Brecheen as their nominee.
Click here to view the full, interactive database with county-level results.
Less than 10% of registered Democrats and Independents, who the Democratic party permits to vote in their primaries, voted in the U.S. Senate runoff between attorney Jason Bollinger and cybersecurity expert Madison Horn. Voters elected Horn, who will face incumbent Sen. James Lankford on Nov. 8.
You can view the full interactive database here.
The August runoff has historically been a low turnout affair. It’s not uncommon, particularly in years where state offices aren’t up for reelection, for either major party to have no statewide runoff on the ballot.
Some election reform groups, including the Oklahoma Academy, say state lawmakers should nix the August runoff, arguing that reducing the number of elections tends to increase voter turnout and engagement. Oklahoma is one of 8 states that requires all candidates to win a majority of votes before advancing to the general election, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.
Like Oklahoma, most states nominate candidates in a closed or semi-closed primary. As an alternative, states like Nebraska and California use a jungle primary system where the top two vote-getters, regardless of their political affiliation, advance to the November general election.
The Oklahoma legislature has not seriously considered an electoral overhaul in recent years, though I’ll be watching to see if this issue comes up when the lawmakers convene in February.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Is there a better way to narrow down the field of candidates? Or do you think Oklahoma’s current system works perfectly fine? You can DM me on Twitter or email me at Kross@Oklahomawatch.org.
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What I’m Reading This Week
- GOP Contender for Oklahoma’s Only Open Congressional Seat Says He Would Vote ‘No’ on Most Bills: Former State Sen. Josh Brecheen believes the main goal of Congress should be to stop excess spending and unnecessary legislation. He blames Democrats and Republicans for taking the country to a dark place. [The Frontier]
- Markwayne Mullin Won’t Commit to Debate Kendra Horn or Support Mitch McConnell: Asked about the prospect of debates, Mullin told reporters that would depend on whether polling data shows the race being close. [The Oklahoman]
- Veteran Affairs Power Struggle Leaves Agency with Serious Problem Paying its Bills: The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs can’t pay its bills because Gov. Kevin Stitt’s Cabinet secretary won’t sign off on them, executive director Joel Kintsel said in an email to lawmakers and commissioners. [Tulsa World]
- Legislative Runoffs: Jech Holds On, Four Others Elected: The only incumbent member of the Oklahoma Legislature up for reelection survived, and the two most extreme candidates in GOP legislative runoffs lost Tuesday night. [NonDoc]
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