In The Know: Early voting more than doubles 2014; the legislative candidates raising the most money; questions that shape tomorrow’s election…

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Election Day is tomorrow: All polling places will be open tomorrow from 7 am to 7 pm. Visit our #OKvotes page to find more election information, important dates, and other resources.

In The News

Early voting totals in Oklahoma more than double 2014 numbers: Officials at the Carter County election board office said they have been extremely busy over the three days of early voting in Oklahoma, which ended at 2 p.m. on Saturday. According to the Oklahoma State Election Board Twitter account, more than 100,000 Oklahomans voted early in the three day window, compared to only 43,000 early votes in the 2014 midterm elections. [KXII]

Incumbents raise most money in legislative races: Early on, Oklahoma’s political observers made two predictions: Senate races in northwest Oklahoma City would be the ones to watch and education would be the top issue this cycle. Two candidates in those Senate races garnered a higher number of contributions than any lawmakers up for election this year, and one of the other top recipients is a teacher running against one of the walkout’s most vocal opponents. [Journal Record]

Questions that could shape a pivotal election: After months of campaigning and millions of dollars spent, Election Day is almost upon us. The stakes are high: Oklahoma voters will select the state’s first new governor in eight years, decide who occupies what could be a pivotal U.S. House seat and determine how next year’s Legislature will look. [Oklahoma Watch] In One Minute: Tips for voting on Election Day [Oklahoma Watch]

Republican purges and feuds in Oklahoma show the pitfalls of one-party rule: The mailers arrived in people’s homes mysteriously, hitting some of the most conservative lawmakers in Oklahoma. George Faught, a hard-line Republican running for his sixth term in the Oklahoma House, was attacked for not being a true conservative. Another Republican incumbent had a flier accusing him of “working to expand Obamacare.” The men called each other, sharing notes: Who was doing this?By the time they found out, nearly all of them had lost in primary runoffs in August. The campaign against the hard-liners, they discovered, was coming from inside the caucus. [New York Times]

Republican streak on the line in Oklahoma legislative elections: Republicans will try to extend their 26-year winning streak in the Oklahoma Legislature and Democrats will do their best to end it Tuesday in what could be an epic general election. Republicans have gained legislative seats in every two-year election cycle since 1992, when they gained three House members. [Tulsa World] Democrat Edmondson threatens GOP dominance in Oklahoma [AP News]

The teacher walkouts moved these educators to run. Now, they’re facing off: Oklahoma educators Sherrie Conley and Steve Jarman each remember the exact moment they decided to run for office. It was April 2, the first day of that state’s teacher walkout, and thousands of educators had swarmed the Capitol in Oklahoma City, demanding more school funding and higher wages. [NPR] In Oklahoma, nearly 100 current and former educators put their names on the primary ballot. [NPR]

Next governor may face conflicts of interest with business ties: For the first time in a generation, Oklahoma’s next governor won’t be coming into office directly from another elected office, meaning the winner could have to separate himself from business and financial arrangements before taking office. The separation – a kind of divestiture, which typically refers only to the sell-off of business assets or holdings – doesn’t have any defined steps and is not specifically required under state ethics rules. But ethics laws apply when candidates and spouses’ investments, business relationships and ownership of companies pose potential conflicts of interest. [Oklahoma Watch]

Former party chairmen, state senator up for lieutenant governor: On Wednesday, Oct. 24, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy held a debate between Oklahoma’s Democratic and Republican candidates for lieutenant governor. The lieutenant governor is first in succession for the governorship, serves as the president and tie-breaking vote in the Oklahoma State Senate and heads the Tourism and Recreation Commission. [NonDoc]

State superintendent race a repeat of 2014 face-off between Hofmeister, Cox: Voters may experience déja vu when they get to the state superintendent’s portion of their general election ballot. The race is a repeat of 2014’s general election, but instead of two political newcomers, Democrat John Cox is challenging Republican Joy Hofmeister as the incumbent. [Tulsa World]

Treasurer and auditor races to appear on Nov. 6 ballot: Republican candidates for state treasurer and auditor have amassed huge campaign funding advantages as they seek to hold off independent and Libertarian candidates in the Nov. 6 general election. [NewsOK]

OKC area congressional seat, four others to be decided on Tuesday: Kendra Horn’s uphill run for Congress, which began on a sweltering Friday night in July 2017, will end in defeat or victory Tuesday night at a watch party in north Oklahoma City. [NewsOK]

Insurance Commissioner candidates differ on experience: Kimberly Fobbs, a Democrat, says her experience as a claims investigator and manager at Metropolitan Life Insurance is an advantage because her career has focused on representing customers, while Glen Mulready, a Republican, says his 35 years representing both sides will best help Oklahomans by expanding coverage options. [NewsOK]

Facing criticisms over pre-existing conditions, Steve Russell walks a fine line on Obamacare: Accused repeatedly by his opponent of voting against a mandate that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing medical conditions, U.S. Rep. Steve Russell has found himself pinned politically between his long-standing opposition to the Affordable Care Act and its most popular provision, which he says he supports. [NewsOK]

Candidate for Oklahoma County treasurer owes back taxes: A candidate for the Oklahoma County post responsible for collecting taxes has fallen behind on paying his own. Daniel Chae has been paying off more than $80,000 in overdue taxes on his personal and business income, records show. [NewsOK]

Democrat Proehl-Day would not prosecute marijuana possession as Tulsa County District Attorney: Democrat Jenny Proehl-Day announced Friday if elected Tulsa County District Attorney, her office will not prosecute simple marijuana possession at the state level. [Public Radio Tulsa]

Four of Tulsa’s nine city councilors will be decided Tuesday: It’s been a crazy, sad and tumultuous year on the Tulsa City Council. Former District 3 Councilor David Patrick passed away unexpectedly. District 4 Councilor Blake Ewing announced he was not seeking re-election, and months later filed for bankruptcy. And District 5 Councilor Karen Gilbert, hoping to move up the political ladder, opted to run for the state House and lost. [Tulsa World] Who will replace Blake Ewing as District 4 city councilor? [Tulsa World] Seven candidates vying for District 7 City Council seat. [Tulsa World]

Voting is your voice: Let your voice be heard: Election Day is one of the most solemn and important days on my calendar. For 60 years, I have been an American voter, and there is no prouder or more humbling moment than to stand before a ballot box and express my voice with respect to the future of this great country. [NonDoc]

More than 200 new laws became active Thursday in Oklahoma: More than 200 bills became state law Thursday, including measures to help protect pregnant inmates, religious adoption services and victims of sex crimes. Lawmakers also passed several bills in the wake of Oklahoma’s fiscal crisis that could help them stabilize the state budget. [NewsOK]

Tulsa World editorial: State board of education requests more money to lower class sizes: The state school board has asked the Oklahoma Legislature for a $440.6 million budget increase, with much of that money intended to reduce class sizes. The total budget request is $3.35 billion. It’s a lot of money, but the schools need it, and the state can afford it. [Editorial Board / Tulsa World]

First-of-its-kind program in Oklahoma helping families reunite with children in foster care: Parents in Oklahoma County who have children in foster care will now have a little extra help when it comes to being reunited with their children. Parent Partners is the first-of-its-kind in Oklahoma and is designed to offer hope, guidance and advocacy for parents whose children are in foster care. [KFOR]

TV videographer denied workers’ comp benefits for post traumatic stress: A former cameraman for an Oklahoma City television station is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for post traumatic stress related to his work covering tragic events, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled Friday. [NewsOK]

CDC: More Oklahoma parents seeking exemptions from vaccinations for children: More than 90 percent of children in Oklahoma enter public schools with up-to-date immunizations, but a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed an increase of parents seeking exemptions from vaccinations.Oklahoma’s exemption rate increased by 0.3 percent between the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years, according to the CDC’s latest Kindergarten Survey, which was released in October. [Tulsa World]

‘Often, north Tulsa is underserved:’ medical marijuana patients in area have new, accessible clinic option: Aided by a crutch and a cane, Michael Webb walked into the Greenwood Wellness Clinic in north Tulsa in search of a solution for his chronic pain and bone problems.“I’ve always had a bad hip,” Webb said. “I was taking hydrocodone and now I’m using something that’s a synthetic steroid.”But he said the pill regimens over the years still didn’t provide the relief he needed. [Tulsa World]

Quote of the Day

“It does not matter if you are disillusioned with Congress, the Legislature, the governor, the president, the rich, the poor, the Electoral College or even the Constitution. No one can hear your silence. Every vote counts, no matter if you’re a Democrat in a red state, a Republican in a blue state or an independent with no party affiliation — your vote counts even if you merely seek to cancel out your mother-in-law’s vote each year.”

-Bob Funk [Source: NonDoc]

Number of the Day


Oklahoma’s student to counselor ratio. The American School Counselor Association recommended student to counselor ratio is 250: 1

[Source: Oklahoma State Department of Education]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

How high schools shaped American cities: In 2016, shortly after she was appointed to the position, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos declared American public schools a “dead end.” … Far from being a “dead end,” for a long time the public school—particularly the public high school—served an important civic purpose: not only as an academic training ground, but also as a center for community and activity in American cities. [Atlantic]

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Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. A Mexican immigrant, she was a Clara Luper Scholar at Oklahoma City University where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked at a digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. She is an alumna of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and OK Policy's Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a board member for Dream Action Oklahoma in OKC and communications director for Dream Alliance Oklahoma in Tulsa.

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