Oklahoma voters faced a long ballot in 1910
The Oklahoman has been providing stories following up on Oklahoma’s recent historic election.
As we begin a new chapter in the state’s history, let’s look back 100 years and do a follow-up on the 1910 election.
In 1910, Oklahoma’s state election was held the second week in November, rather than on the first Tuesday as it is now.
On Nov. 9, 1910, The Oklahoman announced the win of Lee Cruce as the state’s second governor over William “Alfalfa Bill” Murray after an acrimonious gubernatorial campaign. The headlines shouted the news of the Democratic landslide that swept the nation.
“With a total of 200 candidates and six state questions to be voted on, so great was the crush at the polls Tuesday morning that not over two-thirds of the city registration could secure ballots. In nearly every precinct, the inspectors provided extra booths, but even this failed to supply the demand and over 2,000 voters, tired of waiting in line, gave up in vain.
“Fully 2,000 people gathered in front of The Daily Oklahoman building to watch the returns Tuesday night. It was a good natured throng, and favorite candidates were cheered heartily whenever the meager returns justified it. The greatest interest was shown in the gubernatorial candidates, the local option and high license bill, and the results of the elections in other states. It was midnight before the crowd dispersed.”
Of the six questions on the ballot, local option, allowing liquor sales, and women’s suffrage, allowing women the right to vote, generated the most interest of the voting public. They both went down in defeat. Women’s suffrage, allowing women the right to vote, would not pass until 1918, and local option (liquor by the drink decided by individual counties) would not pass until 1984.
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