Vision2: Election night analysis on KJRH

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I was in the KJRH 2 News studio election night, on a panel with news anchors Russ McCaskey and Karen Larsen and fellow analysts David Blatt of the Oklahoma Policy Institute and State Sen. Rick Brinkley to talk about state questions and other local results as they came in.

Here's our last panel segment, starting at 9:24 pm if I recall correctly, talking about Vision2. The Tulsa County Election Board didn't begin reporting any local results until about 9 p.m., so this is shortly after I got the first load results from about 20 precincts, showing strong swings to the "no" side compared to the 2007 river tax vote.

As we were getting ready to talk and watching live reports from the watch parties, I was delighted to spot my wife and kids at the Citizens for a Better Vision watch party at Tally's Cafe.

(Video after the jump, and you can also find it online: Vision2 fails to pass; supporters considering similar proposals for future ballots.)

I promise, I'll have more to say about all this very soon. As you might expect, all the chores that were deferred during the campaign are demanding attention.

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Bob said:

Michael, excellent political commentary.

Is there any significance to the fact that in the past two elections, the Tulsa County Election Board has been the tardiest in the state to report election results?

Is someone trying to turn Tulsa County into the equivalent of Orleans Parish or St. Louis County, in order to swing close elections by voting AFTER the polls officially close?

Or, is it merely incompetence on the part of the management of our local Election Board?

One news story reported that a State Election Board rule requires absentee ballots to be reported first, before any precinct results. The last time I checked Oklahoma County, at 8:31 pm, they were not reporting results, either, for most of the time that Tulsa's numbers were still zero. The two biggest counties in the state process huge numbers of absentee ballots, all of which have to be opened and run through the scanners *after* 7 pm on election night. Tulsa County had 11,348 absentee-by-mail votes in the presidential election; Oklahoma County had 16,227; but Rogers County had only 1,615. Roger Mills County had 72. Sounds like we need a rule change.

The only station with early Vision2 numbers was KOTV, which continued the old-fashioned practice of sending runners to look at the tapes at each polling place to phone in results. If I hadn't been in studio, I would have been out doing the same thing. At some point someone from the station asked me which precincts would be most interesting; I said the precincts close to the station would tell the story, both for Vision2 and HD 71. When the first election board numbers came in, and V2 Prop 1 only won Maple Ridge and Utica Square with 62-64% of the vote, I knew it was sunk -- those were 22 point swings to the no side from the 2007 River Tax vote, which passed in those areas with 84-86%.

KOTV, however, didn't have their runners checking any numbers besides Vision2, so we were still in the dark about races like HD 71, SD 39, and the two City Council seats until Tulsa County began reporting. I think I finally saw absentee numbers from Tulsa County (and only absentee numbers) at about 9 p.m.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 8, 2012 5:46 AM.

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