Newly-Found Ballots Raise Questions About Oklahoma House District Race

Friday, November 9th 2012, 9:30 am
By: News 9

Florida isn't the only place having voting issues. Oklahoma's Cleveland County is in the same boat.

Final results for Oklahoma State House District 45 were delayed this week due to technical issues with some of the new machines used in Tuesday's elections.

It wasn't until 5:30 a.m. Wednesday when the Cleveland County Election Board released the final tally showing Republican incumbent Aaron Stiles won the District 4 5 seat by a very slim margin – only 18 votes.+

11/7/2012 Related Story: Incumbent Wins Oklahoma State House Seat By Just 18 Votes

Since then, News 9 has learned more than 30 – possibly up to 60 – uncounted mail-in absentee ballots were discovered late Thursday night in a storage box in Cleveland County. The ballots are now in the custody of the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, and the District Attorney's Office has been notified of the discovery.

Those votes, along with provisional ballots that will be counted on Friday by the election board, could change the result of the race between Stiles and his challenger, Paula Roberts.

Cleveland County Election Board Secretary Jim Williams told News 9 he's "embarrassed" this happened. He says the votes will be counted at the election board's 3 p.m. meeting Friday, and he expects a big crowd to show up at the election board office to hear the results.