In The Know: Young voters can make a difference | Election news and notes | Update to Landlord Tenant Act | More

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

While more young voters are registered in Oklahoma, the rate of their registration is lower than 4 years ago: The good news about young registered voters in Oklahoma is there are more of them than there were in 2018. The bad news is fewer young people in the state have registered to vote in recent months than did four years earlier. [Tulsa World]

Column: To all Oklahoma voters, now is your time: Thoughtful Oklahomans have been cringing for years about being at the bottom of too many critical national metrics: 43rd in overall livability, 40th in children’s well-being, between 45th and 49th in public education (depending on source) and 48th in public health. [Ross Swimmer and Margaret Kobos /Tulsa World]

State Government News

Update to OK Landlord & Tenant Act makes repair costs easier: Some relief has landed for tenants when having to pay for those all too inconvenient home repairs. On Tuesday, an update to the Oklahoma Landlord and Tenant Act went into effect that will make it easier for tenants to handle repair costs if their landlords are failing to do so. [KFOR]

Oklahoma State Representative Justin Humphrey Studies Criminal Justice Reforms: Representative Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, over the past few weeks — during the “interim studies” process — has held several sessions examining reforms he sees as necessary to update Oklahoma’s criminal justice system. The studies took place before the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee, which Humphrey chairs. [The Oklahoma City Sentinel

Federal Government News

Federal funding to boost internet connectivity in Oklahoma’s rural areas: Oklahoma was identified on Thursday to receive $85.7 million in new federal funding to improve access to high-speed internet. [Journal Record]

Voting and Election News

Polls ahead of the governor’s race have been ‘all over the place’:When it comes to next week’s gubernatorial election, polling has offered Oklahomans a choose-your-own-adventure, of sorts. [The Oklahoman]

  • Democrat Joy Hofmeister switched parties and needs others to do the same [The Oklahoman]

State Superintendent Race: Can the Candidates Do What They Propose?: As Election Day nears, the candidates for state superintendent of public instruction have been busy selling voters on their ideas. [Oklahoma Watch]

  • Education Watch: School Voucher Plan Might Decide Races for Governor, Superintendent [Oklahoma Watch]

Divisive Oklahoma election has caused shifting alliances: Oklahoma’s top races in Tuesday’s election have created groups of strange bedfellows and estranged members of the state’s most popular political party. [Journal Record]

Markwayne Mullin and Kendra Horn compete to replace Inhofe in U.S. Senate race: Oklahomans are in the unusual position of deciding two U.S. Senate races this year owing to Sen. Jim Inhofe’s resignation after almost three decades in the seat. [NonDoc]

  • Markwayne Mullin, Kendra Horn angling for retiring Jim Inhofe’s Senate seat [Tulsa World]

Lobbyists, energy and health care interests help fund Markwayne Mullin’s Senate run: As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mullin sits on committees that oversee energy, health, environmental, communications and technology issues. Lobbyists, the oil and gas industry and the health care sector have contributed nearly $1 million to Markwayne Mullin’s U.S. Senate campaign since 2021. [The Frontier]

DA candidate Kevin Calvey promises to return campaign donation from criminal defendant: The Republican candidate for Oklahoma County district attorney said Thursday he will return a campaign donation from a criminal defendant accused of molesting children. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma congressional races: four incumbents, one open seat, little doubt: Voters in all five districts have choices on their ballots. National handicappers have rated all of the seats as safe for Republicans. [The Oklahoman]

Bob Jack cleared of any wrongdoing in ballot harvesting investigation: Creek County District Attorney Max Cook has cleared former Tulsa County Commission candidate Bob Jack of any wrongdoing after investigating whether the longtime conservative violated state law prohibiting absentee ballot harvesting. [Tulsa World]

Column: On Nov. 8, we need Republicans to take a stand for Oklahoma women: Over the past six months, I’ve been surprised by the conversations regarding Oklahoma’s strict abortion laws. I, along with many others, are questioning government officials’ recent actions because decisions of this magnitude and nuance should only be made by a woman, with her family and her doctor. [Shannon L. Rich Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Event: The Election Night Show at Tower Theatre: Oklahoma’s largest nonpartisan election results watch party on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Part late-night talk show, part live music concert, all entertaining. Doors open at 6, with show starting at 6:30 p.m. Special guests include OKC Mayor David Holt, former state senator AJ Griffin, and entrepreneur Erika Lucas. Musical performances by Kodey Prewitt and the Secret Mansions. [Let’s Fix This]

Resource: 2022 General Election Candidates: This 2022 Oklahoma General Election Candidate Guide was created with the Oklahoma Muslim community in mind, in order that you may have the tools and resources available to be an informed and confident voter in the November 8th General Election. This is not an exhaustive list of all candidates running, but it is comprehensive, and covers those running in districts with the highest Muslim constituencies. [CAIR Oklahoma]

Criminal Justice News

Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip receives extension of execution stay: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has extended a stay of execution for death row inmate Richard Glossip so the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals can complete its review of petitions for a new hearing. [The Oklahoman]

Official calls for ouster of Oklahoma County jail administrator: One of the Oklahoma County jail trust’s newest appointees has requested an item proposing the termination of Jail Administrator Greg Williams be added to Monday’s regular trust meeting agenda. [The Oklahoman]

During DUI arrest, Rep. Ryan Martinez made false statements, offered to call Stitt and O’Connor: An Edmond police officer accused Oklahoma Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, of “not being truthful” ahead of his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence outside a bar just after midnight Thursday, Oct. 27. [NonDoc]

Economy & Business News

Renting is on the rise in OKC, across nation: More people are renting than at any point in the past 55 years, and one-third say it’s their choice rather than their only option, a new report shows. [Journal Record]

Claims for unemployment benefits edge up in Oklahoma: Claims by Oklahomans for unemployment benefits increased during the most recent reporting period, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported Thursday. [Journal Record]

Among other benefits, wind farms save water, company says: EDP Renewables North America, which recently marked the five-year anniversary of its Redbed Plains wind farm southwest of Oklahoma City, counts conservation of water among benefits wind energy brings to Oklahoma. [Journal Record]

Program may open eyes, doors to future careers, for girls: More than 100 middle school girls from across Oklahoma recently visited the University of Oklahoma to learn about engineering and how it may open doors for them in the future. [Journal Record]

Education News

Column: Current narrative around public school teachers is false: This year, perhaps more than ever before, the future of education in Oklahoma is at stake with the fall elections. While I am not a public school teacher, both my parents were lifelong educators, and I live among family members and dear friends who are teachers. As such, I’ve had a front row seat to the work of educators my entire life. [Dan Reeder Guest Column / The Oklahoman]

Column: Charter schools support Oklahoma City school bond, and so should you: The two propositions on the ballot Nov. 8 for the Oklahoma City Public Schools are good for charter schools. [The Oklahoman]

General News

‘Failure was not an option.’ Activists discuss sit-ins at OKC bombing memorial lunch: Hundreds of Oklahomans on Wednesday marked two moments in time ― one distinguished by nonviolence and community transformation and one steeped in violence and heartbreaking tragedy. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoman makes history being elected as first Native American United Methodist bishop: An Oklahoman has made history as the first Native American to be elected to the position of bishop in the United Methodist Church, the nation’s second largest Protestant denomination. [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“Regardless of how we might prefer to solve a policy issue, there’s no denying that a functional democracy is built on the right to vote and the full exercise of that right. On Tuesday, the ball will finally be in our court.”

– Ross Swimmer, an attorney, is former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and former assistant secretary of the interior for Indian affairs. Margaret Kobos is a Tulsa attorney and founder of Oklahoma United for Progress. [Ross Swimmer and Margaret Kobos /Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


Estimated annual number of pregnant Oklahomans who will have access to full pregnancy coverage through Medicaid when the state increases the income qualification threshold from 138 percent of the federal poverty level to 205 percent of the FPL. 

[Oklahoma Health Care Authority and OK Policy]

Policy Note

Maternal Health in the United States: The United States fares worse in preventing pregnancy-related deaths than most other developed nations.”…”One potential driver of maternal health disparities in the U.S. is non-communicable disease. Access to prenatal care also appears to play a role: women receiving no prenatal care are five times more likely to have a pregnancy-related death than women who receive prenatal care. Nearly 25% of all U.S. women start care late in pregnancy or do not receive the recommended number of prenatal visits; this number rises to 34% among African Americans and to 41% among American Indian or Alaska Native women. [Maternal Health Task Force, Harvard Chan School]

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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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