In The Know: Election day in Oklahoma | SCOTUS considers fate of landmark Indian adoption law | Capitol Update

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. Some stories included here are behind paywall or require subscription. OK Policy encourages the support of Oklahoma’s state and local media, which are vital to an informed citizenry. Subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

New from OK Policy

Interim studies examine justice reform solutions (Capitol Update): Rep. J.J. Humphrey, R-Lane, is at it again with his criminal justice reform interim studies. One study included looking at data collection and funding since passage of State Question 780 and SQ 781 in 2016. According to Rep. Humphrey, “If we keep sending money to prisons, they will find a way to use everything we send them. But if we want true reform, we need to start sending money to the programs that help address the root of the problem.” [Steve Lewis / OK Policy]

Oklahoma News

Today is Election Day. Here is everything you need to know about voting in Oklahoma: For anyone who will head to the polls for the first time this Election Day, or anyone who just needs a refresher, here is everything you need to know about voting Tuesday. [The Oklahoman]

  • Oklahoma Election Day [KOCO Oklahoma City]
  • Oklahomans prepare to decide who leads the next four years [KTUL]
  • Polls open for Oklahoma midterm election [KRMG]

State Election Board offers tips, reminders for Oklahoma voters: Voters head to the polls Tuesday for the General Election and several nonpartisan elections. The State Election Board offers these tips and reminders to Oklahoma voters as they head to the polls for the Nov. 8 General Election. [KGOU]

Polls now open in Oklahoma: Be wary of fraudulent election-tampering claims, state official says: No specific threats of interference with Tuesday’s elections in Oklahoma have been received, the state’s top election official said Monday, and he told voters to be wary of election-tampering claims. [Tulsa World]

  • Oklahoma’s elections are secure, state election official says [The Oklahoman]

Federal Government News

GOP favored to maintain all 5 US House seats in Oklahoma: Republicans in Oklahoma are heavily favored to retain all five of the state’s U.S. House seats on Election Day, but the GOP expects to welcome a new face to the delegation after U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe’s plan to retire shook up the political scene. [Associated Press]

2022 midterms live updates: Latest election news from AP: Follow along for real-time, on-the-ground updates on the 2022 U.S. midterm elections. [Associated Press]

Tribal Nations News

Supreme Court considers fate of landmark Indian adoption law: The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case that pits several prospective adoptive parents and the state of Texas against the Indian Child Welfare Act — a federal law aimed at preventing Native American children from being separated from their extended families and their tribes. [KOSU]

A Choctaw Nation Initiative Fizzled, But Early Voting Still Soared: Oklahoma’s five largest tribes broke precedent last month by endorsing Joy Hofmeister for governor. The Choctaw Nation last week established another election first with an initiative to address low voter turnout among its citizens. [Oklahoma Watch]

Voting and Election News

Oklahoma Lawmakers Use Campaign Reserves to Boost Candidates in Tight Races: Incumbent, former and recently-elected Oklahoma lawmakers contributed nearly $100,000 to state House and Senate campaigns between Aug. 9 and Nov. 1, reports filed with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission show. [Oklahoma Watch]

Republicans Made Huge Inroads In Oklahoma Rural Counties Since 2002: It’s been 20 years since Democrat Brad Henry won the Oklahoma gubernatorial election, and the changes in party registration since then show how much the Republican Party has made inroads into traditionally “yellow-dog” Democrat rural areas. [Oklahoma Watch]

New Voting Laws Add Difficulties for People With Disabilities: Restrictions in several states on mail-in voting are sending more people with disabilities to the polls. What they find isn’t always easy to navigate. [New York Times]

Criminal Justice News

OK County jail chief Greg Williams keeps job after tense trust meeting: Embattled Oklahoma County jail administrator Greg Williams will keep his job after new jail trust member Rev. Derrick Scobey’s motion to terminate Williams failed to receive a second from the other eight members of the body that governs the troubled county jail. [NonDoc]

  • Jail trust retains administrator despite community, internal calls for ouster [The Oklahoman]

Economy & Business News

Tulsa United Way facing shortfall that could impact dozens of local charities: With just a week left in the fall fundraising drive, the Tulsa Area United Way remains more than $1.8 million behind its goal even as local charities are facing a greater need for the money, officials said Monday. [Tulsa World]

Tulsa Remote achieves national success: The Tulsa Remote program has become the largest worker relocation program in the country, having recruited and relocated more than 2,000 workers to the city. The program is estimated to have contributed $62 million in new local earnings to the Tulsa area during 2021 alone. [Journal Record]

Average gas price edges up in Oklahoma City, across US: The average gas price in Oklahoma City has risen by 2.2 cents in the past week, settling at $3.20 per gallon, according to a survey of 669 stations in the metro by [Journal Record]

PGA Championship, other events bring big economic impact to state: Sporting events staged in Oklahoma this year, including the 2022 PGA Championship held in May in Tulsa, attracted tens of thousands of people who spent tens of millions of dollars, according to a national publication that reports on the economic impact of sports. [Journal Record]

Regulators are examining OG&E plan to raise customer bills: After a day and a half of testimony and heated debate among teams of lawyers and representatives from the Oklahoma attorney general’s office, AARP and its industrial customers, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and its state regulators remain without a solidified plan of action regarding how to handle a $424 million shortfall in collections by the utility over the summer. [The Oklahoman]

  • Lost track of the number of OG&E bill increases? Catch up on price jumps here [The Oklahoman]

$1 billion in taxes? Oklahoma County property owners owe that much for the first time ever: Oklahoma County property tax collections hit $1 billion for the first time ever — based on a tax roll that surpassed $9 billion for the first time ever — an exclamation mark for a once-booming housing market that is now stumbling and beset by uncertainties that have question marks hanging over home prices. [The Oklahoman]

Education News

KIPP Tulsa charter high school reauthorized by Tulsa school board: Drawing loud cheers from an overflow crowd, Tulsa Public Schools’ Board of Education unanimously voted Monday night to reverse course and reauthorize KIPP Tulsa University Prep High School through June 2026. [Tulsa World]

Broken Arrow Public Schools administration proposes new eighth grade academy: Citing increased construction costs, administrators with Broken Arrow Public Schools announced Monday that they will recommend converting one of the district’s existing sites to an eighth grade academy rather than adding a sixth middle school campus. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma City Charter School Leader Opposes District Bond, But Quietly Obtained a Bond For His School: Santa Fe South Charter School’s Chris Brewster is one of the most vocal critics of a $955 million bond proposal on the Nov. 8 election ballot for Oklahoma City Public Schools. Yet, a county board approved a bond this spring to fund buildings at the charter school where he is superintendent, documents show. [Oklahoma Watch]

Quote of the Day

“If we keep sending money to prisons, they will find a way to use everything we send them. But if we want true reform, we need to start sending money to the programs that help address the root of the problem.”

-Rep. J.J. Humphrey, R-Lane, noting the need for Oklahoma lawmakers to address the state’s incarceration problem [OK Policy / Capitol Update]

Number of the Day


Approximate number of Oklahomans who had voted early, as of Monday morning. About 67,000 of those votes were cast by mail, with more mail-in absentee ballots expected to arrive before Tuesday’s election day deadline. [Oklahoma Election Board via The Oklahoman]

Policy Note

7 Facts About Voting — and Myths Being Spread About Them

Election Day is fast approaching, and the midterms are being watched extremely closely. The Midterm Monitor project provides a tool to better understand the online conversation around the election. Our research using the tool finds that various myths are gaining traction on social media, underscoring the importance of clarifying key facts. [Brennan Center for Justice]

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Hana Saad joined OK Policy in August 2022 as the Communications and Operations Fellow. She graduated from the University of Tulsa with degrees in Media Studies and English and is part of Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society. At TU, Hana regularly wrote for The Collegian and was the Co-Editor of the Stylus Journal of Art and Writing. She also serves on the team at Puppy Haven Rescue to help in their mission of saving rescue dogs across Oklahoma. Hana is eager to learn more about public policy in Oklahoma and use her skills to support the OKP work to build a more equitable state. In her free time, she loves to read fiction and poetry, walk her dog, and make copious cups of tea.

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