Voting Issues

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — More than 116,000 new voters have registered in Oklahoma since January, and Republicans continue to enjoy a growing advantage in registration, state election officials reported on Thursday.

Statistics released by the Oklahoma Election Board show a net increase of 34,000 registered voters just in the last month.

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Tulsa County early, in-person voting for the November election will take place at ONEOK Field.

The Tulsa County Election Board said it’s a large, centrally located venue with adequate room to accommodate large crowds with social distancing outdoors. It also has several nearby parking areas and can be reached by public transportation.

Early voting will be Thursday, Oct. 29, and Friday, Oct. 30, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Voters will be encouraged to wear a mask.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday rejected the Oklahoma Democratic Party’s lawsuit challenging the state’s absentee voting rules.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John Dowell wrote that the state’s absentee voting rules are “reasonable, nondiscriminatory and legitimate.”

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is extending a statewide emergency declaration.

Stitt's announcement Friday ensures Oklahoma voters can cast absentee ballots in November without having their ballots notarized or witnessed by two people.

Because the state of emergency will be in place within 45 days of the election, voters who cast their ballots by mail will only need to include a photocopy of their photo identification or their voter registration card.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about State Question 802, the Medicaid expansion initiative that Oklahoma voters will cast ballots for or against on Tuesday of next week. This measure, per ballotpedia.org, would "expand Medicaid in Oklahoma under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. It would provide Medicaid coverage for certain low-income adults between 18 and 65 with incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL).

On this episode of ST, we revisit a discussion that first aired back in October. At that time, we spoke with Eric Foner, the DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University.

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Native American voting rights advocates are cautioning against states moving to mail-in ballots without opportunities for tribal members to vote safely in person.

In a wide-ranging report released Thursday, the Native American Rights Fund outlined the challenges that could arise: online registration hampered by spotty or no internet service, ballots delivered to rarely-checked Post Office boxes and turnout curbed by a general reluctance to vote by mail.

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On Monday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a requirement that absentee ballots be notarized.

Thursday, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill reinstating it.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 210 earlier in the day on a party-line vote. It enshrines the notarization requirement in state law.

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Two days after the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a requirement that absentee ballots be notarized, House Republicans pushed through a bill to reinstitute it.

Our guest is Eitan Hersh, an associate professor of political science at Tufts University. His new book, which he tells us about, is focused on how any American citizen can -- in these pivotal, ever-so-political times -- "make real change" is her or her own community. As was noted by a critic at BookPage: "Reform-minded readers who want to do more than cast a vote will find essential information in [this work].... Hersh brings unique expertise to this important book.... A fascinating mix of history, statistics, social science, storytelling, and personal insight.

Our guest on ST is Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, one of America's leading experts on women's history, who is on the faculty at Syracuse University (among other schools) and has been teaching college-level women's studies courses for more than 45 years. She'll be speaking tomorrow, Friday the 21st, at 7pm in the Helmerich Center for American Research (on the campus of Gilcrease Museum). Dr. Wagner's talk, titled "Forgotten Champions of Women's Liberty," is free and open to the public. More info is posted here.

With the 2020 presidential race now well underway, the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa is seeking out women in northeastern Oklahoma who could be president. The League will honor 10 such women from our community -- all of them dedicated to leadership and community service, with nominations presently being taken -- at its upcoming Madam President event (happening on May 5; more info at this link).

Our guest is Eric Foner, the DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University, who is a Pulitzer Prize–winning scholar and one of the most prominent historians in the United States. He'll give the free-to-the-public 23rd Annual John W. Hager Distinguished Lecture at the TU College of Law (at 3120 East 4th Place) on October 17th. (The reception for this event is at 5:30pm; the lecture begins at 6pm.) Prof.

Our guest on ST is Dr. Ted Bromund, a Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation who specializes in Anglo-American relations, U.S. and British relations with Europe and the European Union, America’s leadership role in the world, and international organizations and treaties. A columnist for Newsday, Forbes, and Great Britain's Yorkshire Post, Bromund also writes regularly for National Review, The Weekly Standard, and FoxNews.com.

We chat with Ian Shapiro, the Sterling Professor of Political Science and director of the MacMillan Center at Yale University. He's the co-author of a new book, "Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself," which he tells us about. The book engagingly explores why and how the form of government known as democracy has -- quite strangely and paradoxically -- reduced if not eradicated trust in political systems worldwide.

The Citizens United ruling, surely among the most controversial U.S. Supreme Court decisions of the modern era, was a 5-4 vote in 2010 affirming that the freedom of speech prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by nonprofit corporations, for-profit corporations, labor unions, and certain other groups. It's a ruling that, interestingly, is opposed by people all over the political spectrum: red, blue, purple, independent, libertarian, etc. On this edition of ST, we learn about a nationwide effort to render this ruling null and void.

On this edition of ST, a compelling discussion with Ari Berman, a political correspondent for The Nation whose writing has also appeared in The New York Times and Rolling Stone (and who is a frequent commentator on MSNBC and NPR). We are discussing Berman's widely acclaimed book, "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America," which first appeared last summer and will be published in paperback early next month.

(Note: This show originally aired back in January.) Our guest on ST is Edward B. Foley, the Ebersold Chair in Law and Director of Election Law at the Ohio State University School of Law. Professor Foley tells us about his new book, "Ballot Battles: A History of Disputed Elections in the U.S." As was noted of this title by Tamara Keith, a correspondent for NPR News: "It's hard not to feel outrage and a little dread reading Edward Foley's retelling of ballot battles dating back to the nation's founding.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Kristen T. Oertel, the Barnard Associate Professor of 19th Century American History here at TU.

On this edition of ST, we chat with The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, who's the president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP. Rev.

Our guest on ST is Edward B. Foley, the Ebersold Chair in Law and Director of Election Law at the Ohio State University School of Law. Professor Foley tells us about his interesting new book, just out from Oxford University Press: "Ballot Battles: A History of Disputed Elections in the U.S." As was noted of this title by Tamara Keith, a correspondent for NPR News: "It's hard not to feel outrage and a little dread reading Edward Foley's retelling of ballot battles dating back to the nation's Founding.

On this installment of ST, we once again speak with policy analyst and political psychologist Steven Kull, the founder and president of a Washington-based non-partisan organization called Voice of the People. This group, which utilizes innovative polling methods and cutting-edge technology to enact an ongoing "campaign for a citizen cabinet," aims to give ordinary citizens a greater role in American government.

Our guest is Richard Soudriette, who's the President of the Center for Diplomacy and Democracy, which is based in Colorado Springs. He also served as founding President of IFES, or the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, from 1988 to 2007. Under Mr. Soudriette's leadership, IFES grew into one of the premier organizations offering technical assistance around the globe in matters related to elections, civil society, rule of law, and governance. Thus he's played a key role in launching networks of elections officials in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia.