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Oklahoma voters waited in line for hours after polls closed Tuesday

By the time polls closed Tuesday, David Johnston already had been standing in line at the polls for an hour and a half. He expected to be there at least another half-hour.
by Silas Allen Published: November 7, 2012
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Between the presidential race and the six state questions on the ballot, Prasse said, the election was important enough to wait in line.

Another voter, Dave Farrand, agreed. He, too, had been waiting in line for about a half-hour when the polls closed. Farrand said he'd heard about the long lines at the church even before he arrived.

“I kind of had an inkling it would take two hours,” he said.

Oklahoma Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said his office had heard reports of long lines at precincts all across the state. Those wait times are mostly due to high voter turnout, Ziriax said.

Although the recent change in Oklahoma's voter ID laws may have slowed the process somewhat, Ziriax said, the largest part of the problem was simply accommodating more voters than the system usually handles.

The high turnout is fairly typical for a presidential election, Zyriax said. Although he didn't head up the election board at the time, Zyriax said his staff told him the state saw similar wait times during the 2008 election.

by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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