Our eyes have been on the polls ever since we began working to restore election integrity in Oklahoma. As highlighted two weeks ago, mail in ballots are still strongly swinging in one direction unnaturally. In the contest for Edmond School Board Office #5, there is enough difference from February to April to have had Michael Grande win instead of Marcus Jones, had they been at the same volume. The mail in numbers doubled from the first election to the next. Overall turnout in this race went up 43%.
At the same time, in the same school district, in the same two elections, turnout dropped in the contest for Office #2, by about 16%. The April turnout was 84% of February’s.
Within Oklahoma County, from the end of January to the end of April, voter registration did go up, by a little more than 2,000 registered voters. More than 1,000 of them registering as Independent (no party affiliation). This represents a 0.5% increase overall, far short of the 40+% in Office 5, yet not in line with the Office 2 dropoff. Could it be because of differences in voter enthusiasm, or are other factors at play in our elections?
New Discovery of Vote Manipulation
Now Oklahoma Liberty and Integrity Group has uncovered data that makes the EPS outcomes even more questionable. When visualized, it looks like votes were nearly flipped from one candidate to the other, Cheryl Williams to Courtney Hobgood.
Precinct by precinct, Cheryl’s vote proportions become almost identical to Courtney’s, from Feb to Apr, respectively. Everywhere Cheryl Williams was in the lead in February, she was behind in April, except for precinct #11, which corresponds to voting precinct 550137, where Williams was ahead by 3 votes.
What brings this pattern far beyond coincidence is that when the combined votes of all candidates from Feb, other than Cheryl, are displayed, it becomes almost exactly the graph from April.
The biggest difference is the sheer number of votes in April (43% or 640 more than Feb). Also note that in precinct 8 (voting pct. 550134), Williams lost 113 votes in the runoff. Hobgood picked up 92. We’re still trying to figure that one out. Many questions are left unanswered. How did the voters from Feb 5th all seem to decide to shift their votes to the same candidate? And how did all these new votes, not seen in the primary, show up in April’s runoff in the same proportions to Hobgood?
Without support for an election system audit from elected and unelected officials alike, the only way we’ll be able to know whether this was a real shift in turnout is with a canvass.
In the mean time, OKLIG continues to urge our state representatives to take up the cause of election integrity, hold hearings, and prove to the People of Oklahoma that we can trust our elections.