In The Know: Oklahoma voters head to the polls tomorrow | Pre-election polling suggest unpredictable statewide races | Continued progress needed on OK’s parole process

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

Oklahoma’s parole process has helped safely lower the number of people in prison. Continued investments could build on this progress: Oklahoma’s parole process — which allows conditional early release from prison — has played a key role in lowering the number of Oklahomans behind bars. The use of parole has reunited families, protected public safety, and saved the state hundreds of millions of dollars in incarceration costs. [David Gateley / OK Policy]

Oklahoma News

Oklahoma voters go to the polls Tuesday: Voters will go to the polls Tuesday to pick the winners in a variety of statewide, legislative and congressional races. [Tulsa World]

  • Voters on Tuesday will set the course for state and local governments [The Oklahoman]
  • Check your polling place before you head out to vote Tuesday, election official advises [Tulsa World]

Who and what’s on the ballot for the November 8th general election in Oklahoma: Oklahoma’s Nov. 8 General Election will decide many statewide, federal and local races. Because of recent changes, voters will now have the option to vote early on the Wednesday before the election — in addition to the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before as well. You can look up your early voting location by county via the Oklahoma State Election Board here. [Public Radio Tulsa]

State Government News

Governor Stitt declares state of emergency for four counties after tornadoes hits southern Oklahoma: Gov. Kevin Stitt declared a state of emergency Saturday for Bryan, McCurtain, Choctaw and LeFlore counties after tornadoes struck parts of southeastern Oklahoma Friday evening. [Tulsa World]

Suit claims Oklahoma owes Swadley’s more money for contractor work at state parks: As the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation continues its probe into potential misuses of taxpayer funds through a one-of-a-kind vendor agreement with Swadley’s Bar-B-Q, the state attorney general is suing Brent Swadley for breach of contract. [The Oklahoman]

AARP Oklahoma awards OSU $5,000 grant for rural broadband hotspot library program: This grant will help fund internet hotspots in public libraries in three rural Oklahoma communities: Hominy, Buffalo, and Frederick. [KTUL]

Tribal Nations News

Native leaders hope voter turnout can close the gap in Oklahoma governor’s race: One day ahead of the general election, the push to turn out the Native vote is facing its final test. [The Oklahoman]

WATCH: Cherokee Nation chief on why Oklahoma’s tribes see Gov. Kevin Stitt as ‘existential threat’: The Five Tribes of Oklahoma took an unprecedented step last month by endorsing a candidate in the state governor’s race: Democrat Joy Hofmeister, who is challenging Republican incumbent Gov. Kevin Stitt. [PBS Newshour]

Race Question in Supreme Court Adoption Case Unnerves Tribes: The issue is whether a federal law that seeks to place Native American foster children in Native American homes is constitutional. The case could turn on whether the justices see tribes as racial groups or sovereign nations. [New York Times]

Cherokees Ask U.S. to Make Good on a 187-Year-Old Promise, for a Start: The demand that Congress honor a treaty and seat a nonvoting delegate comes amid growing clashes over sovereignty and a tight race for Oklahoma’s governor, a Cherokee citizen. [New York Times]

Tribes seek to lead way on opioid treatment: The story of Choctaw citizen Clayton Clark’s opioid addiction begins with a compressed disc, and pirouettes into a tale of devastation and loss. [Cherokee Phoenix]

Voting and Election News

Rural schools, vouchers becoming front and center in Oklahoma gubernatorial race: Some public school advocates are branding Gov. Kevin Stitt “a danger to rural schools,” saying his plan to expand voucher access for private school students will endanger the survival of most districts outside the urban cores. [Mcalester News Capital via CNHI]

Election 2022: Kevin Stitt, Joy Hofmeister race for Oklahoma governor: Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt is defending his position against Democrat Joy Hofmeister, a former Republican who flipped parties to challenge Stitt this election cycle. Libertarian Natalie Bruno and Independent Ervin Yen will also appear on Oklahoma ballots. [2 News KJRH]

Hofmeister’s campaign gains momentum from small donors, including many teachers: Stitt leads in fundraising from larger donors in health care, construction and other industries, according to a Frontier analysis. [The Frontier]

These OKC Democrats flipped GOP-held seats four years ago. Can they hold them?: Four years ago, Hicks and state Sen. Julia Kirt did the seemingly unthinkable. They flipped Republican-held state Senate seats in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area — a sign of the city’s political shift from red to purple. [The Oklahoman]

  • Oklahoma City-area legislative seats to be decided in Tuesday’s election [The Oklahoman]

What we know about who has voted so far in Oklahoma in the 2022 general election: More than 130,000 Oklahomans have already cast ballots, either in person or by mail, for next week’s election. [The Oklahoman]

Podcast: Capitol Insider: Polling suggests unpredictable Oklahoma General Election: The 2022 General Election is Tuesday. And while most legislative races have already been determined, the statewide races still to be decided may present some surprises. [KGOU]

  • Polls ahead of the governor’s race have been ‘all over the place’ [The Oklahoman]
  • Poll: Oklahoma’s State Superintendent Race Virtually A Tie [News 9]

Banned book lesson thrusts Oklahoma teacher into campaign: A high school English teacher from Norman, Oklahoma, intended to spark a discussion in her classroom when she covered her bookshelves with butcher paper and a sign that read: “Books the state doesn’t want you to read.” [Tulsa World via the Associated Press]

Column: Some sue, but unfettered speech is part of politics: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joy Hofmeister last week vowed to take legal action against Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, for allegedly lying about her record and views. She then went on to accuse him of creating a sanctuary for “Chinese landowners and violent criminals.” [Chris Casteel Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Column: Election significant for public education: As we look ahead to the coming months and holidays, I want to share an important reminder about Election Day on Tuesday, November 8th. Not only will our new governor and several state leaders be elected, but this election is significant for the future of public education as our next State Superintendent will be decided as well. [Kevin Hime Guest Column / The Lawton Constitution

Column: Ervin Yen on issues in Oklahoma: Hear from gubernatorial candidate Ervin Yen on his stance on education, inflation, and more. [Ervin Yen Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Column: Conservative policies are not against universal values of caring, compassion: Dear fellow Oklahomans, I know we are all struggling to find candidates who share our basic values — whether on the left or the right. In large measure, many of our choices are not very good, and the ability to discern the best is not helped by the news media or social media. [Mike E. O’Neal Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Column: Rep. Stephanie Bice is Iranian American. Where’s the representation?: Since the 1970s, the Iranian American community of Oklahoma has grown substantially and has made tremendous strides socially and economically. With Stephanie Bice, the daughter of an Iranian immigrant, serving in the Oklahoma state Senate and becoming the first Iranian American elected to the United States House of Representatives, it shows just how far the Iranian community has come in the past 40 years. [Mikayla Maiahy Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Health News

Faced with bans, more Oklahomans sought self-managed abortions, research shows: New research shows that online requests for medication abortion increased significantly in Oklahoma in the wake of laws restricting access to abortion. [The Oklahoman]

Healthcare Affordability Scorecard: Oklahoma: Oklahoma’s Healthcare Affordability State Policy Scorecard identifies areas where the state is doing well and areas where it can improve. [Altarum Healthcare Value Hub]

Criminal Justice News

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, parole board blamed in lawsuit for gruesome 2021 triple slaying: Just days before the election, Gov. Kevin Stitt was blamed in a federal lawsuit for the shocking triple slaying of three people in Chickasha last year. [The Oklahoman]

Political notebook: State representative seeks overhaul of criminal justice system: If interim studies are a leading indicator of legislative activity for the next session, state Rep. Justin Humphery, R-Lane, is going to be wearing out some House staffers. [Tulsa World]

Economy & Business News

OKC commercial space evolving into arts incubator: Right now, the space at 617 W. Sheridan Ave. in Oklahoma City is filled with art reflecting the 16th century; very soon it will showcase artworks that have yet to be created. [Journal Record

Johnson Controls to create hundreds of jobs in Norman: Riding a wave of post-COVID demand for commercial heating and cooling systems, the Johnson Controls manufacturing plant in Norman will hire an additional 300 employees in 2023, executives say. [Journal Record

Science Museum Oklahoma plans $8 million planetarium renovation: Officials with Science Museum Oklahoma have announced an $8 million plan to build a state-of-the-art planetarium. [The Oklahoman]

Education News

TPS board delaying redistricting vote, presents two new maps for public comment: Despite board seat redistricting’s having shown up as an action item on the Tulsa school board’s draft agenda, the item will not be voted on when the board meets Monday night. [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma City school bond projects elicit excitement, outrage: Community response to Oklahoma City Public Schools’ $955 million bond proposal has been almost as broad as the sweeping package itself. [The Oklahoman]

Column: Low pay is at center of teacher shortage issue: Two political races in Oklahoma are getting a great deal of attention, and education is at the center of both of them. The current state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister switched parties to run against Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt. [Kyle Reynolds Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

General News

Race Massacre burial search to resume at Oaklawn on Monday: Work is scheduled to resume Monday morning after the search for unmarked burials in Oaklawn Cemetery related to Tulsa’s 1921 Race Massacre took a long weekend because of the threat of thunderstorms. [Tulsa World]

Column: We should not wait for leaders to exhibit civility before emulating it: Incivility is rife in our day and age. One might easily think, “Why bother?” What good will it do if one person is civil in the face of such an overwhelming onslaught? [Nancy E. Snow Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Local News

Understanding the convoluted Edmond ballot question: When Edmond voters hit the polls Tuesday, they will face a ballot question that asks whether property located north of Memorial Road and west of West I-35 Frontage Road should be rezoned to allow for the construction of a 301-unit apartment complex. [NonDoc]

Quote of the Day

“As parole continues to play a vital role in Oklahoma’s criminal legal system, now is the time to make further investments in reentry and parole supervision. These changes will have a broad impact on public safety and community well-being for all Oklahomans.”

– David Gateley, speaking on how Oklahoma can continue to decrease its incarceration rate through continued improvement of the parole process. [David Gateley / OK Policy]

Number of the Day


For the first 150+ years of the existence of the United States, Native Americans were not allowed to vote
[Native American Rights Fund]

Policy Note

Democracy is Indigenous
Our collective efforts to reclaim our voice and our power were driven by our shared commitment to combating the invisibilization of Urban Native people — one of the most under-represented and under-resourced populations in America. Despite making up over 70 percent of the total AI/AN population, our urban Native communities have traditionally been excluded from conversations, decisions, and outreach efforts that lead to resource allocation and policy decisions. [National Urban Indian Family Coalition]

You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.


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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.