School election 2011 tomorrow; polling places shifted for snow
Voters across Oklahoma will elect school board members and vote on school bond issues tomorrow, Tuesday, February 8, 2011.
Snow from the February 1 record storm plus the extra snowfall since then continues to make streets hazardous. Many Tulsa polling locations are still very hard to reach by car. To minimize the risk to poll workers, the Tulsa County Election Board is consolidating polling places for tomorrow's election:
Due to hazardous conditions with many parking and sidewalk areas at many of our regular polling places, the Tulsa County Election Board is consolidating many Polling Place locations for Tuesday, February 8, 2011, into larger locations which are continuing to be snowplowed.
While Tulsa Public Schools originally thought they would be able to assist with clearing parking areas and sidewalk areas at the regular polling places, with the continued precipitation falling, it was decided late Friday, February 4, that it would be best to allow the Tulsa County Election Board to consolidate precincts into larger multi-purpose facilities, as is being done in the Union School District and the Tulsa Technology School District.
Click the link for details, and here is a precinct-by-precinct list (PDF) showing which precincts will be voting (many areas of the county have no election), where each precinct will vote tomorrow, and, for reference, where the precinct usually votes.
Here is a link to the League of Women Voters of Tulsa 2011 school election voter guide (PDF).
All voters in the Union School District will vote at UMAC, the high school arena on Mingo Rd north of 71st St. Union has a $21.6 million bond issue and one contested board seat -- Office No. 1, Jeff Bennett vs. Bobbie Jo Eversole.
Tulsa Public Schools has one board seat -- Office No. 1, west of the river and northwest of downtown -- a rematch from four years ago between incumbent Gary Percefull and retired Booker T. Washington High School teacher Brenda Barre, both Democrats. Neither candidate appears to be active online. Here's the column I wrote endorsing Brenda Barre in the 2007 Tulsa School Board race. Polling places will be open at Reed Park recreation center for voters who live southwest of the river and the Tulsa County Election Board for voters who live northeast of the river.
East Tulsa and Catoosa area voters have a three-way race for Tulsa Technology Center (vo-tech) board, Zone 2. Candidates are Catoosa Public Schools superintendent Rick Kibbe, former Tulsa police chief Drew Diamond, and retired DEA agent DuWayne Barnett. Tulsa County voters in Zone 2 will vote at the Fair Meadows Exhibit Hall at Expo Square (Tulsa County Fairgrounds).
Conservative Republican activist Mike Ford, a leader in the Mike Huckabee's Oklahoma campaign in 2008, has endorsed three candidates in south Tulsa school districts on his "Vote for Conservatives for School Board" Facebook page.
Bobbie Jo Eversole, Union (opposing incumbent Jeff Bennett)
Harold Vermillion, Broken Arrow (open seat -- opposing Richard Parker)
Jeromy Walsh, Bixby (opposing incumbent Brian Wiesman)
Between the snow and the different precinct locations, turnout is likely to be lower than the usually abysmal levels. Gary Percefull beat Brenda Barre by just 32 votes out of 856 cast. Your one vote could make a huge difference. And if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle and are confident driving on snow-packed roads, consider volunteering to help the candidate of your choice get voters to the polls.
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