Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Voters Face Long Ballot

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Voters Face Long Ballot

Article excerpt

Oklahoma voters will make a historic choice for governor, choose several new state officials and decide the fate of almost a dozen state questions at Tuesday's general election. On Tuesday, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For voters wishing to avoid lines, early absentee-in-person voting begins Friday at all of the state's 77 county election boards.

Because of the lengthy ballot, state election board officials are urging residents to expect delays at the polls.

"The 2010 general election ballot is a long one, so we encourage voters to plan ahead by educating themselves about the candidates and the state questions before going to their polling places," said Paul Ziriax, secretary of the State Election Board. "Voters should even consider making notes - especially on the state questions - and taking those notes with them into the voting booth."

However, voters, Ziriax said, cannot share their notes or tell other voters how they plan to vote while at the polling place.

"A voter who does not prepare before going to the polls might spend 30 minutes or more in the voting booth, but a voter who plans ahead can probably vote their ballot in less than half that time," he said. "The more voters who come prepared, the faster the lines at the polls will go."

In addition to the myriad state questions, voters will choose between Democrat Jari Askins and Republican Mary Fallin for governor. Askins currently serves as lieutenant governor while Fallin is the state's 5th District congresswoman.

The winner will replace outgoing Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, who served two back-to-back four-year terms.

Oklahomans also will be electing seven other state officers, five federal officers, 19 district judges and associate district judges, 10 state senators, 47 state representatives, five district attorneys and dozens of county officers.

Additionally, voters will make judicial retention decisions for two Supreme Court justices and four Civil Appeals Court judges and decide the fate of several county and municipal issues. …

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