Oklahoma voters casting ballots in the presidential election fell short of beating the turnout for 2008, election results show.
Election results show about 1.3 million Oklahomans voted for president Tuesday, which is shy of the 1.4 million who voted four years ago. The record number of ballots cast for president occurred in 2004 when 1.46 million Oklahomans voted.
Tuesday's turnout was about 63 percent of the state's 2.1 million registered voters, state Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said Wednesday.
The turnout was below the 67 percent recorded in 2008 and the 68 percent that voted in 2004, he said.
Unofficial election results showed that Republican Mitt Romney won 889,710 votes, or 66.8 percent, while President Barack Obama, a Democrat, received 442,787 votes, or 33.2 percent.
That tally doesn't include 5,227 provisional ballots cast in the presidential race, Ziriax said. Provisional ballots are cast by voters without the required identification; they sign a sworn statement and cast a provisional ballot, which, if it is determined they are registered to vote in that precinct, is included in the final election tally.
The state Election Board will check the provisional ballots Friday afternoon.
More voters cast absentee ballots through the mail this year compared with four years ago, Ziriax said. However, fewer voters cast ballots during the three-day early in-person voting period.
Ziriax said 63,945 Oklahomans cast absentee ballots this year, compared with 62,784 in 2008.
This year, 111,717 showed up at county election boards to vote early, down from 119,482 four years ago.
“Overall, I think more and more people are starting to participate in the early voting process,” he said.
Part of the delay in getting results posted Tuesday was caused by election officials having to count absentee ballots, Ziriax said. Current law provides that absentee ballots must be counted on Election Day, and election officials tabulate the absentee ballots before working on votes cast on Election Day.
Ziriax said he will talk with lawmakers to possibly consider changing state law to allow election officials to count absentee ballots they have earlier than on the day of the election.
“That might help the election boards, especially in the bigger counties, get ahead of the game,” he said.