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Thousands More Vote Early At ONEOK Field

Chris Polansky
Early voting at ONEOK Field began Thursday, Oct. 29.

After more than 4,400 turned out to cast in-person early votes on Thursday, thousands more Tulsa County residents did the same on Friday during the second day of early voting at Tulsa's ONEOK Field.

As of noon Friday, almost 2,000 had already voted, according to data released by the Oklahoma State Election Board. 

Lines stretched nearly clear around the ballpark, but most voters appeared in good spirits, according to Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman.

"That's the way that democracy should work," Freeman said by phone Friday. "I mean, it was a lot of people very excited to be able to take [part] in this whole process. They had smiles on their faces. It was very peaceful. People were very kind and gentle. They seemed to have a good time casting their votes at ONEOK, so I'm very, very pleased."

Freeman said Friday's and Saturday's vote totals were each likely to exceed Thursday's, and that she expects the total in-person early vote count to exceed 2016's. She admitted she was surprised things had gone as smoothly as they had so far.

"This has been a very contentious political year, and a very stressful year on everyone," Freeman said. "I mean, we're in the middle of a pandemic, you know, social unrest in some quarters. What I was surprised to see is how well everybody did. I think it speaks to the character of our community."

According to the state election board, more than 332,000 ballots had already been cast in Oklahoma in Tuesday's election as of noon Friday, with about 248,000 of those cast via mail-in ballot and the remainder cast in-person.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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