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Oklahoma ranks poorly in election performance study

A Pew Charitable Trusts study published Tuesday ranked Oklahoma in the bottom 25 percent for election performance for the third straight election cycle, but state election officials say many of the recommended changes are already on the way.
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: April 8, 2014

Oklahoma’s 2012 election cycle ranked near the bottom of the nation for voter turnout and voter registration, according to a study put out Tuesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The study found Oklahoma ranked 49th for voter turnout and 46th for voter registration and lacked in online voter information tools.

“In 2012, Oklahoma provided just one of five possible online voter information lookup tools on its state elections website, making it one of only five states to provide one or none of these tools,” the study states. “Online lookup tools help voters access the information they need where they are most likely to look for it: online.”

Zachary Markovits, manager of Pew’s election initiatives, said adding those tools could help reverse Oklahoma’s declining voter turnout, which dropped from 81 percent in the 2008 study to 77 percent in 2012.

Paul Ziriax, secretary of the state Election Board, questioned the study’s numbers, saying the state’s data shows slightly higher voter turnout. He also said two of the five recommended online voting tools, online voter registration and a poll locator, are available together as one tool already. Two more of those tools, online sample ballots and tracking tools for absentee ballots, will be available for the 2014 election cycle.

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by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch he went on to cover the Oklahoma Senate for eCapitol before joining the...
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Online: For an interactive look at the study’s election data go to www.pewstates.org/epi-interactive.

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