Travis Rice expressed surprise when he was told the ballot he cast earlier this month during the Oklahoma general election hadn’t counted. “That doesn’t make me happy,” Rice said, when informed by the Tulsa World that his provisional ballot had been rejected. “They told me it would count,” the Jenks resident said, quoting what precinct workers told him when he cast the provisional ballot. Rice was among hundreds of voters who cast provisional ballots during the Nov. 4 election that ended up not being counted by election officials, records show. … Statewide, a little over half of the 1,604 provisional ballots were cast because the would-be voter’s name did not appear on the registry where the person had gone to vote. Another 699 voters on Nov. 4, were issued provisional ballots after failing to provide a proper ID at the polls. Election workers determined all but 34 of the 699 provisional ballots issued for lack of ID were valid, whereas only 138 of the 878 provisional ballots cast due to a missing registry name end up being tallied.
About 5 percent of the provisional ballots issued Nov. 4 due to lack of a proper ID were not counted compared to a 16 percent rejection rate at the 2012 general election.
“It could be everything from voter education, to the universe of voters that are showing up to vote, to the fact that we have a separate stand-alone affidavit for provisional ballots for identification purposes,” state Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said. “So maybe it’s more specific and it’s clearer to the voters, I don’t know.”