In The Know: Oklahoma finally has online voter registration | State ranks bottom 10 for business | Schools face counselor shortage

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.

Oklahoma News

Oklahoma’s Wait for Online Voter Registration is Finally Over: Oklahoma launched its long-awaited online voter registration system Tuesday, giving prospective voters ample time to submit a fully digital application ahead of the 2024 presidential election cycle. [Oklahoma Watch]

  • Oklahoma launches online voter registration, 41st state to do so [The Oklahoman]
  • Online voter registration launches in Oklahoma [KOSU]
  • Oklahoma now offers online voter registration. Here’s what to know [Tulsa World]
  • How to register to vote online in Oklahoma [Tulsa World]

State Government News

Oklahoma AG seeks to reduce Stitt’s involvement in tribal gaming lawsuit: Attorney General Gentner Drummond wants to put an end to a 3-year-old legal battle over new tribal gaming compacts Gov. Kevin Stitt inked with four of the state’s small tribal nations. Drummond is asking legislative leaders to grant him permission to take over the state’s handling of the case, which would significantly curb the governor’s involvement in the litigation. [Tulsa World]

OHFA gets an earful during housing stability session: Oklahoma’s Legislature took a crack at making housing more accessible and affordable to middle- and lower-income people across the state this year by creating the new Oklahoma Housing Stability Program and dedicating $215 million toward the construction of new homes and assistance for those looking to live in them. [NonDoc]

Tribal Nations News

Quapaw Nation elections highlight lingering turmoil: In Saturday’s special election, Quapaw Nation citizens voted for current Secretary-Treasurer Kathryn “Wena” Supernaw to become the new chairwoman of the Business Committee, according to unofficial results. The election’s origin and related details underscore the political turmoil the sovereign tribal nation has experienced in recent years. [NonDoc]

Voting and Election News

Oklahoma leaders advocate for open primaries at OKC panel discussion: In Oklahoma, primary elections are partially closed — voters unaffiliated with a political party are able to cast ballots in Democratic, but not Republican, primaries. There’s a movement to change that. At The Press restaurant in Oklahoma City, about 100 people gathered for a panel discussion about open primaries, hosted by Oklahoma United. [KOSU]

Criminal Justice News

Leonard Scott, Ed Moore charged in OSDE scuffle: Oklahoma County District Attorney Vicki Behenna filed misdemeanor charges Friday against Leonard Scott and Ed Moore related to an incident at the June 22 State Board of Education meeting where the two longtime conservative Edmond gadflies blocked entryways to the public meeting and attempted to implement a numerical system for attendees to gain entry. [NonDoc]

Economy & Business News

How attractive is Oklahoma for business? Not very, according to CNBC ranking: Oklahoma slipped into the bottom 10 in CNBC’s annual ranking of the best states to do business, as the state’s scores in education and quality of life were among the worst in the nation. [The Oklahoman]

Education News

Oklahoma faces critical shortage of school counselors: Oklahoma is facing a critical shortage of school counselors and hasn’t increased state funding to help fix the problem. The state’s student-to-counselor ratio was 398:1 at the end of 2022, while the American School Counselor Association recommends 250:1. The Oklahoma Legislature rejected State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister’s requests for around $58 million to hire more school counselors each of her last three years in office between 2018 and 2021. [The Frontier]

  • Five things to know about Oklahoma’s school counselor shortage [The Frontier]

General News

Retired Oklahoma principal: You cannot erase Black history or anyone’s history: Today, I struggle and ask myself what is happening with our schools when you hear that the teachings are now becoming selective and political. Some information will be excluded instead of being included. The more knowledge you receive, the better citizen you can become. [Joyce A. Henderson Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Local News

  • Lobbyists for OKC detail legislative wins, outline challenges ahead [Journal Record]

Quote of the Day

“Oklahoma does have low voter turnout traditionally. Anything the state can do to decrease the number of hurdles in the voting process is certainly a step in the right direction.”

– Lynn Staggs, president of The League of Women Voters Tulsa chapter, speaking on the changes which now allow Oklahoma residents to register to vote online. [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


The year that the Oklahoma legislature authorized online voter registration in the state. Election officials on Tuesday unveiled the online registration platform after technical snags in cross-checking voter registration information and motor vehicle data delayed full implementation for years. [Oklahoma Watch]

Policy Note

Strengthening Early Childhood Health, Housing, Education, and Economic Well-Being Through Holistic Public Policy: The preschool years present a critical developmental period sensitive to changes in public health and social policy, for which robust investments in programs that support families can improve intergenerational outcomes. [Center for American Progress]

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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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