By James Beaty
Voters fanned out to polling places early Tuesday, casting ballots in everything from a U.S. presidential race to two city of McAlester propositions.
They were also casting ballots in a congressional race for the U.S. District 2 House seat, in the election for the District 7 state Senate post and for Pittsburg County sheriff.
In addition, voters were pondering six state questions and whether to retain justices on the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the state Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Civil Appeals.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. and were set to close at 7 p.m. in the General Election and the Special City Election.
In Precinct 7 at the First Assembly of God Church in McAlester, Voting Inspector Diana Hokit worked with Judge Lonnie Lu Anderson and Clerk Linda Cupid to get voters checked in and to check their registration before handing them ballots.
As Anderson and Cupid checked in voter Amanda Zaccaro, Hokit related how some voters had been anxious to cast their ballots Tuesday morning.
“We had people in line at 6:30,” Hokit said. By 10:50 a.m., approximately 150 voters had cast ballots at Precinct 7.
At Precinct 3, which is the First Baptist Church in McAlester, 112 voters had cast ballots by 9:54 a.m. on Tuesday, with approximately 10 other individuals lined up and waiting to vote.
“We’ve just got eight voting booths, said Paul Crowl, on hand to provide information to those who needed to vote by provisional ballots.
Voting Inspector Marsha Green, along with Clerk Reta Descher and Judge Debra Vandawalker worked to get the voters checked in and check their registration.
“It’s been very steady,” Green said of the Tuesday morning turnout.
At Precinct 34 at Catholic Hall in Hartshorne, Voting Clerk Lois Edington, Inspector Romarie Morrow and Judge Birdie Ray were checking in a steady flow of voters Tuesday.
Voters were going to the polls for different reasons.
As they left the polling place, some of the voters said they were drawn to today’s election for certain reasons.
Steve Baker, in McAlester said Tuesday the thing that most interested him about the election was “getting rid of Obama.”
In contrast, Miller Newman said Monday he was interested in the presidential race because “I want to keep going forward; I don’t want to go backwards.”
Another voter, Linda Murdock said Tuesday that she always votes — and others should too.
“A young man at work said he wasn’t going to vote,” Murdock said.
“I said ‘Did you know people died for what you’re refusing to do? You should consider it a privilege.”
Bill Murdock said he was interested in a particular race — “the human race.”
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