Turnout: Ice, debris dampen voters' response

By Bryan Dean Modified: December 12, 2007 at 12:09 am •  Published: December 12, 2007
Although road conditions got better Tuesday as temperatures rose and icy roads melted, voters in the Oklahoma City metro area mostly stayed at home.

Election officials estimated less than 5 percent of registered voters came to the polls for Oklahoma City's general obligation bond election. Typical turnout for city elections is between 8 and 15 percent.

The $835.5 million bond issue would pay mostly for street maintenance, but it also includes money for parks projects, libraries, buses and other capital projects.

Mark Mann, who voted Tuesday afternoon at Springdale Alliance Church, 4231 NW 50, said the weather didn't complicate his trip to the polls, but he thinks most voters were scared away by the ice.

"The roads aren't all that bad, but you've been hearing it on the news for two days to stay in and don't travel,” Mann said.

Inside the church, election workers said turnout was slower than normal.

"People are thinking about how they're going to keep warm,” election worker Betty Randel said.

Springdale Alliance Church had electricity. Some other polling locations didn't.

Doug Sanderson, secretary of the Oklahoma County Election Board, said workers at polling locations without power gathered ballots and brought them to the election board to be counted after the polls closed.

Mary Jo Ogle uses light from a window to vote Tuesday at St. Davids Episcopal Church at NW 33 and Meridian in Oklahoma City. By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman

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