Tulsa County Election Board Prepares For Rare Single Issue Statewide Election

The election on whether to legalize recreational marijuana in Oklahoma is Tuesday and the Tulsa County Election Board said it is ready. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., March 7.

Monday, March 6th 2023, 6:14 pm



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The election on whether to legalize recreational marijuana in Oklahoma is Tuesday and the Tulsa County Election Board said it is ready.

More than 3,000 people in Tulsa County already voted in person last week, and absentee ballots continue to trickle in through the mail.

Less than one percent of registered voters in Tulsa County went to the election board or Hardesty Library last week to cast their votes early.

"For tomorrow, it's anybody's guess what kind of turnout we'll have,” Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman said.

Freeman said about 1,452 people came out on Thursday, and 1,922 people voted Friday.

Across the state, about 34,000 people voted in person, early.

"We had a steady stream of voters, all day long, both days,” Freeman said.

Freeman said you have to look back almost two decades, to 2005, to consider the last time there was a stand alone issue in a statewide special election.

Less than 20 percent of registered Tulsa County voters made their voices heard then, whether they were voting early or on Election Day.

“Back then it was a gasoline tax that was up for election,” Freeman said. “We had about 18 percent of the population show up to actually vote in that election in 2005. And again, a gasoline tax, you can't really compare that to recreational marijuana; it's apples and oranges."

This election is also tough to compare to the turnout for medical marijuana state question, because that issue was on the same ballot as the statewide primary for Governor and several other races.

"That was an extremely well-attended election,” Freeman said. “For this election, we don't know what to anticipate. We know that early voting wasn't quite the numbers we had during the primary that contained the medical marijuana issue."

Polling places are ready for what Freeman said will be a historic election, no matter what voters decide.

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., March 7.

The online voter portal is a good resource for everything you need to know, like finding your polling place, or reading a sample ballot. Click here to log in to the portal.

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