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Recount is sought in Norman House district race

The Democratic challenger seeks a recount and alleges irregularities occurred in the Oklahoma House District 45 race. A hearing on both matters is set for next week.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Modified: November 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm •  Published: November 9, 2012
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A petition seeking a recount, along with allegations of irregularities in the House District 45 race, were filed Friday by the Democratic challenger.

Meanwhile, Cleveland County election officials determined no change occurred in the Republican incumbent's margin of victory after tabulating ballots not counted in Tuesday's election.

After counting absentee ballots that were discovered Thursday night and 24 of about 70 provisional ballots that were cast Tuesday, election board officials determined unofficial final results showed Rep. Aaron Stiles still won by 18 votes.

Paula Roberts listed 10 allegations in papers filed with the state Election Board claiming that ineligible voters cast ballots in her race and registered voters in the Norman district were not allowed to vote.

Roberts, who served 22 years as Cleveland County Election Board secretary before retiring last year, also said absentee ballots were not counted when they should have been, including 60 that were discovered Thursday.

Roberts, of Norman, also wants a manual recount of all the votes cast in house District 45's 11 precincts, as well as all the provisional and absentee ballots.

“I feel like with all the issues we've had in this race, including problems with new equipment and new software, and the uncounted absentee ballots, that we owe it to the voters to have a recount,” Roberts said.

According to the unofficial results, Stiles, R-Norman, won 50.1 percent of the vote. With all 11 precincts, the absentee and provisional ballots, Stiles, who was elected to the House in 2010, won by 18 votes out of 13,580 cast.

Friday's count put the tally at Stiles receiving 6,799 votes and Roberts getting 6,781.

Provisional ballots are cast by voters without the required identification at the polls. Voters sign a sworn statement and cast a provisional ballot, which is included in the final election tally only if it is determined they are registered to vote in that precinct.

Barry Roberts, an attorney and Paula Roberts' husband, filed the recount request and petition alleging voting irregularities with state election officials at the state Capitol shortly before Friday's 5 p.m. deadline.

“We watched processes in the Cleveland County Election Board, made notes and … identified some things we think need to be looked at more carefully,” he said.

Roberts said his wife, because of her experience at the Cleveland County Election Board, “has knowledge of most of the procedures that should be followed.”

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by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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