Political opponents accuse each other of lying all the time, but one Oklahoma congressional candidate took his accusation to a new level this week when he claimed his opponent was actually dead and being represented by a body double. KFOR in Oklahoma reports that Timothy Ray Murray believes Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), his opponent in the congressional Republican primary, was executed three years ago and is being represented by a look-alike. Because he believes Lucas is really dead, Murray said he will challenge the results of Tuesday’s Republican primary, in which Murray received 5.2 percent of the vote. Lucas won the primary with 82.8 percent of the vote. ”It is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displayed by a look alike. Rep. Lucas’ look alike was depicted as sentenced on a white stage in southern Ukraine on or about Jan. 11, 2011,” Murray said in a statement posted on his campaign website. The statement claimed Lucas and “a few other” members of Congress from Oklahoma and other states were shown on television being hanged by “The World Court.”
Articles about voting issues in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma: Democrats blame hacker for shoe sales pitch — State party website leads to Nike shoe site | Muskogee Phoenix
Perhaps neon yellow Nike running shoes are a tongue-in-cheek allusion to Democratic candidates “running” for office and trying to get people to the polls. Because when many visitors checked the state Democratic Party’s website Thursday, they were promised “Absolute flexibility for a natural run” and told to “Just Do It.” The problem: Those messages came from Nike, not Democrats.
Recent court decisions in Wisconsin and Arkansas may not have direct application to Oklahoma’s voter ID law, but they do give heart to those challenging it, University of Tulsa law professor Jim Thomas said last week. “When I saw the Wisconsin decision, saw it was 91 pages, I was excited,” said Thomas. “It shows the attention the court gave to this case. It increased my confidence that Oklahoma’s law will be struck down.” Thomas represents Tulsan Delilah Christine Gentges in a case now before an Oklahoma County District Court. The lawsuit has followed a winding trail that has taken it from Tulsa County District Court to the Oklahoma Supreme Court and now to Oklahoma County.
The Cherokee Nation Election Commission recently announced it has purchased its own automated election system, which will allow the tribe to run its own elections in 2015. In the past, the Cherokee Nation has contracted with various vendors, including Unicyn and Automated Election Services. According to Cherokee Nation Election Commission Director Connie Parnell, by owning its own equipment, computers and software, the tribe will save hundreds of thousands of dollars and improve election security. “Frankly, it’s more cost-effective,” said Parnell. “The last election in October 2013 cost almost $300,000. Each big election was costing that much, without adding in the cost of runoffs and special elections.”
The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated a lawsuit that challenges the state’s voter ID law, ruling that the Tulsa County resident who filed it has legal standing to challenge the law’s constitutionality. The state’s highest court handed down the ruling in a lawsuit filed by Delilah Christine Gentges, who sued the Oklahoma State Election Board after voters approved the law in a statewide election in 2010. The Supreme Court ruled that the law requiring voters to prove their identity before voting was validly enacted. But it reversed a ruling by Oklahoma County District Judge Lisa Davis that Gentges lacked legal standing to challenge the law’s constitutionality on the ground that it violates the free exercise of provisions of the Oklahoma Constitution that guarantee the right to vote.
Gov. Mary Fallin confirmed Friday that the special election to replace U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn will coincide with this year’s regular election schedule. Coburn announced last night that he is resigning effective the end of the current session in December. Two years remain on Coburn’s term. Under state law, a vacancy such as the one occurring because of Coburn’s resignation requires the governor to declare a special election to fill out the remainder of the term, with the election to run concurrently with the regular election.
The Cherokee Nation’s Election Commission on Dec. 10 unanimously voted to purchase election equipment from Texas-based Hart InterCivic with the expectations of running its own elections in 2015. Election Services Director Connie Parnell said she first contacted the Tribal Rights Employment Office to see if there were any Cherokee-owned election manufacturers from which the EC could purchase the equipment. After learning there were no such companies, the EC moved forward with finding a provider. “There is not a lot of companies left. They’ve all bought out each other,” Parnell said. “And of those that are left – ES&S, Dominion, Hart InterCivic – those are your three major companies that produce election equipment. And they are the manufacturers. They aren’t the middle man.” Parnell said she contacted five companies but only two were interested in working toward the EC’s goal of running its own elections, Hart InterCivic being one.
Oklahoma: Hurry up and wait: Tulsa’s new election process frustrates candidates, voters | Tulsa World
After a frantic eight weeks of campaigning leading up to the June 11 nonpartisan mayoral election, now comes the dead of summer and the long, seemingly endless march to the Nov. 12 general election between former Mayor Kathy Taylor and incumbent Dewey Bartlett. Why, one might wonder, is there five months between the primary and the general election? Or, worse yet, seven months between the April filing period and the November general election. And then there is this possibility: If one mayoral candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the June primary, that candidate becomes mayor but doesn’t take office until the first week of December. How did this happen?
The Oklahoma State Election Board demonstrates how a new voting machine can help visually impaired voters cast their ballot on Election Day. ”It is an interface that allows voters with disabilities to vote without assistance while the regular voting is still going on,” said Pam Slater with the Oklahoma State Election Board. The new voting machine uses an audio-tactile interface (ATI) which allows blind voters to listen and scroll through an audio version of the general election ballot to make their choices. ”It is very easy to feel around and feel exactly what you need,” said Cathy Tuton who is visually impaired. “It tells you everything you need to know.”
Oklahoma voters with visual impairments will be able to cast ballots independently and privately this year for the first time in a presidential election. The state’s new voting machines incorporate an audio aid that guides blind voters through the various ballot choices. Once selections have been made, the audio device summarizes the selections made and provides voters an opportunity to change their choices before the ballot is cast. Jane Thomas, a social worker at the Oklahoma School for the Blind, said students who participated Wednesday in a mock election encountered “some glitches.” But for the most part, Thomas said the technology incorporated this year with the state’s new voting machines is “wonderful.”