By Traci Chapman
The 2018 election year is finally close to conclusion, as voters prepare to head to the polls Nov. 6.
Some have already cast ballots with the start of absentee voting. Early voting is set for 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Canadian County Election Board.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Nov. 6. Everyone in line at 7 p.m. will be given the chance to cast their ballot, Canadian County Election Board Secretary Wanda Armold said.
To be decided by area residents are two county commissioner posts, judgeships, state and federal representatives and officials and five state questions.
Canadian County Offices
Canadian County incumbents running for re-election include Commissioners Jack Stewart and Marc Hader, as well as Associate Judge Bob Hughey. Special Judge Jack
McCurdy was set to face former legislator John Paul Jordan for the chance to become the first District 26, Office 2 district judge; Jordan said in early October he suspended his campaign but election board officials ballots including his name were already printed at that time.
Twelve seats for judicial retention are also on the ballot.
Those running for local offices are:
County Commissioner District 1
Marcus Hall, Libertarian
Marc Hader, Republican
County Commissioner District 3
Daniel Pugh, Independent
Jack Stewart, Republican
Associate District Judge
State Legislative Races
One senate and three state representative races will be considered by Canadian County voters, including the District 47 seat formerly held by Mustang’s Leslie Osborn, who is seeking the Oklahoma Labor Commissioner post, and District 41, vacated by Jordan when he chose to pursue the county judgeship.
Those running are:
State Senator – District 22
Stephanie Bice, Republican
William Andrews, Democrat
State Representative – District 41
Denise Crosswhite Hader, Republican
Jennie Scott, Democrat
State Representative – District 43
Chantelle Cory, Democrat
Jay Steagall, Republican
State Representative – District 47
Sarah Carnes, Democrat
Brian Hill, Republican
Nine state offices – including the state’s highest – are on the line Nov. 6. Candidates for those are:
Drew Edmondson, Democrat
Chris Powell, Libertarian
Kevin Stitt, Republican
Ivan Holmes, Independent
Matt Pinnell, Republican
Anastasia Pittman, Democrat
Cindy Byrd, Republican
John Yeutter, Libertarian
Mike Hunter, Republican
Mark Myles, Democrat
Charles de Coune, Independent
Randy McDaniel, Republican
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Joy Hofmeister, Republican
John Cox, Democrat
Larry Huff, Independent
Leslie Osborn, Republican
Fred Dorrell, Democrat
Brandt Dismukes, Independent
Kimberly Fobbs, Democrat
Glen Mulready, Republican
Bob Anthony, Republican
Ashley McCray, Democrat
Jackie Short, Independent
Federal Congressional Offices
Two longtime Republican incumbents will defend against challenges to their legislative seats Nov. 6. Those elections involve:
U.S. Representative – District 3
Frank Lucas, Republican
Frankie Robbins, Democrat
U.S. Representative – District 4
Tom Cole, Republican
Mary Brannon, Democrat
Ruby Peters, Independent
Voters will also weigh in on five State Questions, which are:
State Question 793 – Retail Practice for Optometrists/Opticians
SQ 793, if passed, would allow optometrists and opticians to practice in “retail establishments that sell merchandise to the public.” The law would allow the state legislature to restrict optometrists from performing surgeries within those establishments, limit the number of locations they may practice, maintain licensing requirements, impose health and safety standards and require offices to be in a separate room.
State Question 794 – Crime Victim Rights Amendment
Marsy’s Law first became a reality in California, named after murder victim Marsalee Nicholas, stalked by an ex-boyfriend and killed in 1983. A week after the murder, the accused man confronted Nicholas’s mother in a grocery store; no one had been advised he had been released on bail. Since that time, similar laws have been enacted in Illinois, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota; as it does in those states, the measure would in Oklahoma; expand court proceedings where victims could be heard; add reasonable protection rights; add right to proceedings free from “reasonable delay;” add victim rights to speak with prosecutors; and require defendants to subpoena victims for interviews.
State Question 798 – Governor/Lt. Governor Joint Ticket Amendment
If passed, SQ 798 would allow the governor and lieutenant governor to be elected on a single ticket beginning in 2026. According to the State Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma is one of only 17 states across the country which separately elects the governor and lieutenant governor.
State Question 800 – Oil and Gas Development Tax
Approval of SQ 800 would amend the Oklahoma Constitution and establish an investment fund for 5 percent of the state’s oil and gas production tax revenue called the Oklahoma Vision Fund. In 2018, state officials said the passage of the question would mean $31.95 million would be placed in the fund.
State Question 801 – Certain Voter-Approved Property Taxes Fund School District Operations
Developed in the wake of teacher pay issues and walkouts earlier this year, SQ 801 would allow school districts to utilize some ad valorem taxes to fund operations – including salaries. Currently, state law mandates property taxes may only pay for capital projects and repairs. One of the sponsors of SQ 801 was Canadian County Sen. Stephanie Bice, and the measure was promoted by Gov. Mary Fallin; several school districts and Oklahoma Education Association have come out against the proposal.
Anyone voting in person must present proof of identity before casting a ballot, Armold said. That can be done with federal, state or tribal photo identification, county election board voter ID card or by signing an affidavit, which will allow that individual to utilize a provisional ballot.
“If the information on the affidavit matches official voter registration records, the ballot will be counted after election day,” Armold said.
Canadian County Election Board is located at 200 S. Bickford Avenue in El Reno and can be contacted by calling 405-422-2422. Anyone wishing to review sample ballots, polling places or registration information can go online to Oklahoma State Election Board’s online voter tool, located at www.elections.ok.gov.