No Need to “fix” Oklahoma Elections

Opinion: Oklahoma has one of the nation’s best election systems. We use paper ballots that allow hand recounts, our ballot machines are not Internet connected, and results are completely tallied on Election Day.

Yet some people want to get rid of that system and replace it with one notorious for voter errors, lengthy delays in counting, and growing public distrust of results – “ranked choice” voting.

In a ranked-choice voting system, voters designate their first choice in a race, their second choice, and so on down the ballot. If no candidate receives majority support, the second-choice votes of the candidate who finishes last are reallocated to the remaining candidates. If no candidate clears 50 percent of the vote at that time, the process repeats again and again until one candidate has received a majority.

This idea has been tried elsewhere and the results speak for themselves. The system is a disaster.

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Sentenced for Sexual Abuse, Enticement

TULSA, Okla. – A former South Coffeyville middle school teacher was sentenced today for two counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Indian Country and Coercion and Enticement of a Minor in Indian Country, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson in a release today.

U.S. District Judge Sara E. Hill sentenced Harold Steven Moore, 41, of Kansas City, to 180 months imprisonment, followed by 12 years of supervised release. Upon his release, Moore will also be required to register as a sex offender.

“Children trust their teachers and Harold Moore betrayed that trust,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “No child should ever have to question the motives of an adult they interact with at school. I commend the courageous victims that came forward.”

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Wildcatters Make Two Blockbuster Trades

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – At the first-ever PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Teams Expansion Draft Wednesday evening in Oklahoma City at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma Wildcatters, one of two new expansion teams for the PBR Teams League, assembled their initial seven-rider roster during six rounds of exhilarating selections punctuated with a blockbuster trade of the No. 1 overall pick.

“Out of the six guys on my list, I literally didn’t get one, and that was Vitor Losnake,” said Brandon Bates, General Manager of the Oklahoma Wildcatters. “He was really high on my talent board, so kudos to New York for making a great pick there.”

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It’s My Problem

Regular readers of this weekly column in newspapers, magazines, and online publications around the world know that one of the greatest influences in my life and career is the work of Napoleon Hill. Hill had many groundbreaking lessons derived from his interviews with hundreds of the most successful people of his era. One of these profound principles is the concept of going the extra mile. Hill was born in the 19th century and did his research in the early 20th century.

Here in the 21st century, our job descriptions and roles tend to be very well-defined. People know what they are responsible for, and they also know what they are not responsible for. The difference between top-level performers and average people is the fact that top-level performers strive to serve their customers or clients in the marketplace and put everyone ahead of themselves in their personal lives.

Average people merely go to the boundary of their job descriptions or minimal expectations and stop there, often using the excuse, “It’s not my job.”

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Record Turnaround of Failing Schools

State Superintendent Ryan Walters announced today in a detailed release that 117 out of 191 schools showed enough improvement this year to no longer be designated Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) Sites, a federal designation which closely corresponds to the State Report Card “F List.” In last year’s cohort, only 32 schools achieved this distinction.

“I promised Oklahoma families that we would get our students back to basics and back on track,” said Walters. “I am thrilled to announce today that our efforts are beginning to bear fruit. Within our Department, we have instituted new collaborative partnerships focused solely on assisting schools with programs targeted specifically at increasing student outcomes while helping schools target their available budgets to get the maximum return on investment for our students.

“Each one of these 117 schools has shown remarkable progress and is showing the nation that Oklahoma is leading in reform and improvements in student achievement, and several of our schools have shown tremendous gains in the past year. This is hard evidence that our focus on the academic basics, rather than being sidetracked by political indoctrination, is the best path to student success in our state,” Walters declared.

State Superintendent Ryan Walters
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