Oklahoma's Runoff Primary Election is set for next Tuesday, Aug. 28 with early voting open now through Saturday, Aug. 25. Races abound in the runoff as each of the state's three recognized parties determines who will advance to the November General Election.
MIAMI – Oklahoma voters are set to soon return to the polls for a Runoff Primary Election to determine candidates from all three of the state’s recognized parties for the November General Election.
Oklahoma is among ten states where a runoff is required if a party candidate does not secure a majority of the vote in a Primary Election. Without a majority, the top two candidates for a contested party seat are then set to face-off in a Runoff Primary, which will be held this election cycle on Aug. 28.
Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax confirmed Wednesday there are 35 state and federal runoffs slated for the Republican ballot, 12 runoffs on the Democratic ballot, and one race on Libertarian ballot statewide.
In Ottawa County, Democrats will need to select between candidates for the Oklahoma District 2 Congressional seat, Corporation Commissioner, and County Commissioner District 1 seat in the runoff.
Republicans will need to select between candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, Labor Commissioner, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Corporation Commissioner.
Libertarians will need to select a candidate for Governor.
Oklahoma uses a modified closed primary system, which means only registered voters of a recognized political party may vote to select their party's nominees, but the chairman of each political party has the option to allow registered Independents to vote in their party's primary elections.
This election cycle, the Democratic Party has opted to allow registered Independents to vote in its primary, while the Republican and Libertarian Parties have opted to keep their primaries closed.
Federal and State Seats
On the federal level, Ottawa County Democrats will decide between candidates Jason Nichols and Clay Padgett for Oklahoma's District 2 Congressional seat.
The party's runoff selection will face-off with Republican incumbent Markwayne Mullin seeking his fourth term in Congress and Libertarian candidate Richard Castaldo of Grove.
State offices will have the most races on the upcoming runoff ballots.
In the gubernatorial race, Libertarians will decide between Chris Powell and Rex L. Lawhorn while Republicans will cast their votes between Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt.
Democrats gave a clear majority to their choice, Drew Edmondson, in the June primary with 61.39 percent of the vote.
Democrats also made their choice for Lieutenant Governor in the June primary, selecting Anastasia Pittman over Anna Dearmore with 50.42 percent of the vote.
Libertarians did not put forth a candidate for the office and Republicans will make their decision in the runoff between Dana Murphy and Matt Pinnell.
For the Oklahoma State House District 7 Representative seat both the Democrat and Republican candidates went uncontested. Incumbent Democrat Ben Loring and opponent Republican William Leonard will face off in the November General Election.
Republicans must also decide on candidates for State Auditor and Inspector between Cindy Byrd and Charlie Prater, Attorney General between incumbent Mike Hunter and Gentner Drummond, and Labor Commissioner between Cathy Costello and Leslie Osborn.
In education, the runoff is between Republicans again for Superintendent of Public Instruction between incumbent Joy Hofmeister and locally rooted Linda Murphy.
The race for Corporation Commissioner will be a runoff between Ashley Nicole McCray and Blake Cummings on the Democratic ticket and incumbent Bob Anthony and Brian Bingman on the Republican ticket.
The Ottawa County District 1 Commissioner seat drew five candidates, with Republicans selecting Mike Moore to advance to the November General Election and a runoff set for Democratic candidates Mike Furnas and Kevin Dunkel Aug. 28.
Ottawa County precincts included in County District 1 are precincts 2, 3, 12, 14, and 23.
Incumbent Democrat Russell Earls secured his position with the majority vote against fellow Democrat Will Sampson for the District 3 County Commissioner seat in the June 26 Primary Election.
There were no Republican contenders for the County District 3 seat.
Early voting for the Aug. 28 Runoff Primary Election opened Thursday, Aug. 23 across the state and will continue Friday, Aug. 24 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Aug 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Ottawa County at the Ottawa County Courthouse Annex Community Room, 123 E Central Ave., Miami.
A notice issued last week by Ottawa County Election Board Secretary Verna L. Ferris also outlines that Oklahoma law requires every voter who votes in person at their precinct polling place or during early voting at the Courthouse Annex Community Room must show proof of identity before receiving a ballot.
Voters may show a valid photo ID issued by federal, state or tribal government; or show the free voter identification card issued to every voter by the County Election Board.
Party candidates selected in the runoff will face majority winners from the June 26 Primary Election in the Nov. 6 General Election.
The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 General Election is Friday, Oct. 12. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Early voting dates for the Nov. 6 General Election are Thursday and Friday, Nov. 1-2 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To download a voter registration form, confirm your registration, find your voting place, or view a sample ballot, use the Online Voter Tool at the Oklahoma State Election Board website, https://www.ok.gov/elections, or call the Ottawa County Election Board at 918-542-2893.
Ottawa County Precinct Polling Location Map | Use +/- to Zoom
Dorothy Ballard is the managing news editor for the Miami News-Record. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @dm_ballard.