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Oklahoma election officials expect heavy turnout Tuesday

Presidential races attract voters, and even though Tuesday's ballot lacks any Oklahoma statewide race some congressional and legislative races may generate voter excitement.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: November 5, 2012

Pat McFerron, director of survey research for Cole, Hargrave, Snodgrass and Associates, said he expects a big turnout of voters.

“The national race being so close, even though our votes here don't affect the presidential, it makes us to be a part of it,” he said. “I think it will be a very high turnout.”

Sheryl Lovelady, a former Democratic Party consultant, said she is hoping for a good turnout.

“I don't sense a lot of intensity on either the Democratic or Republican side for the presidential nominees,” she said. “If turnout is high in Oklahoma, I suspect it will be because the local races will turn them out, which is not typical of presidential races.

“Typically when you have the higher turnout, it's because of that race. But because we're a low information state — neither campaign spends money here on television or other advertisements — and just the lack of enthusiasm for both candidates ... I don't see that driving the high turnout here,” Lovelady said.

Neva Hill, a political consultant who has mostly Republican clients, said she expects a good presidential year turnout of voters in Oklahoma.

“You have that extra group of folks that don't come out in midyear elections, but they will come out because they do want to express their vote starting with president and then move on down the ticket,” she said.