Oklahoma

Snapshot: Oklahoma receives a poor score for ease of voting and a good score for ballot security. Its elected officials receive a low score for their response to claims about the 2020 election.

Ease of Voting

Some measures to expand access
3 out of 7 benchmarks

Ballot Security

Many measures to ensure accuracy and security
6 out of 8 benchmarks

What Politicians Say

Several responses that undermined the 2020 election
2 out of 4 benchmarks

After some Oklahoma voters waited for hours to vote early in the 2020 election, state lawmakers added a fourth day of early voting in presidential elections and congressional midterms starting in 2022.

That leaves the state still with one of the shortest early voting periods in the country, well below the average of 23 days.

The state has made only minor changes to election law since 2020, changing deadlines and adding new requirements for local elections administrators.

One new law passed in 2021 bars the governor or any other local or state officials from agreeing to change any election procedures in order to settle a lawsuit from a voting rights group.

In the last 20 years, Oklahoma has consistently had the worst voter turnout in the US.

According to statistics from University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald, the state’s turnout rate among all people eligible to vote has been the lowest among US states since he began tracking the data in 2000.


Ease of Voting

Is the state making it easy for eligible voters to register and cast a ballot?
Met 0 out of 0 benchmarks
How Oklahoma compares to other states
Oklahoma
Other states
← Easier to vote
Harder →
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1
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Number of total benchmarks met

A 2021 law expanded the deadline for local elections administrators to receive a mail ballot application from one week to three weeks before the election.

The change came after the US Postal Service warned states that late deadlines for mail ballot requests may not leave postal workers enough time to deliver them.

Another new law in 2021 requires voters requesting a mail-in ballot online to prove their identity with their name, birth date and either a driver’s license number, other state ID number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.


Ballot Security

Is the state following best practices to ensure ballot counting is accurate and timely?
Met 0 out of 0 benchmarks
How Oklahoma compares to other states
Oklahoma
Other states
← More secure
Less secure →
8
7
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1
0
Number of total benchmarks met

A 2021 law requires that local elections administrators remove dead voters from the rolls within 30 days of receiving a list from the state. Another requires they track whether each voter cast a ballot by mail, during early voting or on Election Day.

Another 2021 law requires the State Election Board to check the voter rolls each year and notify local prosecutors to investigate if more than 10 people are registered at a single address. Nursing homes, apartment complexes and military bases are exempt.

The legislature also passed a law in 2021 that would allow it to join the Electronic Registration Information Center, a nonprofit that helps states see when a voter has moved or registered to vote in another state, but it has not yet joined.

Another 2021 law bans private donations to run elections, such as the grants local elections administrators asked for and received from Meta Platforms Inc Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg in 2020.

Read More: Zuckerberg’s Election Aid Spurs GOP Drive in 30 States to Ban It


How Politicians Responded to the 2020 Election

What did the state do in the aftermath of Trump's defeat?
Met 0 out of 0 benchmarks
How Oklahoma compares to other states
Oklahoma
Other states
← Fewer efforts to undermine 2020 election
More →
8
7
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5
4
3
2
1
0
Number of total benchmarks met

Republican Governor Kevin Stitt was among the prominent Republicans who publicly acknowledged that Trump had lost shortly after the election, but he has remained quiet on the issue since then and endorsed a statewide candidate who has said it was stolen.

Then-Attorney General Mike Hunter, a former Oklahoma secretary of state, signed on to the Texas lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to intervene in the election. He resigned in 2021.

US Senator James Lankford signed a joint statement with US Senator Ted Cruz citing “unprecedented allegations” of voter fraud and planned to object to certification but changed his mind after the Capitol attacks.

All five of Oklahoma’s Republican US representatives objected to the certification of Biden electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania. Two also signed an amicus brief in support of the Texas lawsuit.


Read the full methodology
Story by: Ryan Teague Beckwith and Bill Allison
Graphics by: Paul Murray, Allison McCartney and Mira Rojanasakul
With assistance by: Rachael Dottle, Marie Patino, Jenny Zhang, Gregory Korte, Romy Varghese, Vincent Del Giudice, Nathan Crooks, Margaret Newkirk, Shruti Date Singh, David Welch, Elise Young, Dina Bass, Brendan Walsh, Carey Goldberg and Maria Wood
Editors: Wendy Benjaminson, Wes Kosova, Alex Tribou and Yue Qiu
Photo editors: Eugene Reznik, Marisa Gertz and Maria Wood
Photo credits: Getty Images, Bloomberg and AP Photo