Voters in at least one precinct today were denied ballots in the non-partisan City Council Election if they were registered Republican in precinct 77 near 21st and Memorial.
Gwen Freeman, Secretary for the Election Board, and Sheriff Vic Regalado held a 2 pm press conference confirming three poll workers were removed and replaced. Both organizations are working together in the ongoing investigation.
Council Candidate Grant Miller in an exclusive interview with Tulsa Today said, “I received calls early this morning from several supporters who said they were denied a ballot.”
Miller, a registered Libertarian, then went to the polling location to ask if some voters were being denied ballots. Miller asked poll workers, “To be clear, Republicans were denied municipal ballots here? She [poll worker] said ‘yes, but we have that corrected. We were told not to give ballots to those with a certain code.’” Miller recorded that conversation.
Several local media outlets are covering this breaking story. Officials say the investigation is continuing and the results will be provided to the District Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution. The press conference is available from KJRH click here for that report.
Sheriff Regalado said criminal detectives were dispatched and “they interviewed the workers who said they were following the orders of the Judge Pollster who was also interviewed, and he said, yes, Republicans were not provided ballots, but that was a mistake.”
“The problem there,” Sheriff Regalado said, “was that they were each required to sign paperwork that they understood the rules and regulations of the voting process.” He then read the instructions that they did not follow which “indicates that regardless of party affiliation, all Tulsans” in that district should have received a ballot.
Sheriff Regalado said, “charges in this case could include impeding the voting process and/or intentionally impeding the voting process by fraudulent means. It will be up to the District Attorney on which charges are to be filed if any at all.
“I will tell the general public that it is the Sheriff Offices’ intent to ensure that the electoral process goes as it should. This is a sacred process that each Tulsan should have confidence in when they go to the polls,” Sheriff Regalado adding, “We will investigate each allegation as it may come in.”
Freeman said, “On behalf of the Tulsa County Election Board, I would like to apologize to anyone effected by this incident. This does not reflect the standards of this Election Board and we take these matters very, very seriously… if there is ever any issue at your polling location that you see on election day, please call us immediately.”
This is a City Council runoff election. Only in City Council District 5, 6 and 7 are incumbents being challenged. To read endorsements, in state, county and city races click here.