Voters across Oklahoma went to the polls in a series of off-year city and county elections Tuesday to determine the fate of an array of projects. Those proposals ranged from a new hospital in Coal County, to a new animal shelter in Moore, to a new sewage treatment plant in Seminole.
While voters in Cleveland County approved two separate bond packages totaling about $16.8 million for infrastructure improvements and the construction of an animal hospital, voters in Coal County rejected a $9 million hospital and nursing home project for the county.
Voters also ultimately approved bond issues for four out of six school districts that had propositions on Tuesday’s ballot, including a pair of bond issues for Yukon Public Schools totaling about $194.2 million.
A proposition to annex the area of Mangum Public Schools into the Southwest Technology Center District also saw approval from about 66.85 percent of voters.
Here’s a look at how Tuesday’s elections turned out, with all results un-official until verified by the state election board. To view full Nov. 9 election results visit the Oklahoma State Election Board.
Canadian County: Stapperend wins El Reno race
In Canadian County, Peter Stapperend defeated Bob Ballhorn in the race for the Ward 2 seat on the El Reno City Council. Stapperend received 108 votes, while Ballhorn received 48.
Cleveland County: Moore voters approve bonds
By a 68 to 32 percent margin, voters in Moore approved a $8.6 million bond package that will provide funds for the construction and repairs of streets and bridges in the city.
A bond package for an $8.2 million animal shelter to be constructed in the city also passed with 65 percent of the vote.
Coal County voters reject
Residents in Coal County voted down two proposed bond issuances that would have funded a hospital and a nursing home project. About 57 percent of the 995 people who cast ballots voted against a proposal to authorize $11.6 million in bonds for the hospital project. A $9 million bond issuance for the nursing home project received support from 27 more voters, but it still failed by a tally of 446 in favor and 549 opposed.
Coal County General Hospital CEO Trent Bourland said Wednesday that the hospital’s board would continue to look for solutions to its facility problem despite the election results.
“Going forward, our board plans to work with the board of commissioners to form a group of community stakeholders and local leaders to reevaluate our plans for updating our facilities,” Bourland said in a statement to NonDoc. “Our hope with that is to highlight concern community members had with our initial proposal. With those known and understood, we can develop a revised or new plan to improve, remodel or reconstruct our local health care facilities. We may even consider partnering with other area health care facilities. No option is off the table at this time. I believe we as a community know and understand how vital these businesses are to the current and future success of Coal County.”
Comanche County: 5 vote difference in Lawton race
Just five votes separated Mark Malone and Kelly Harris when all the votes were counted in the Lawton City Council Ward 2 race. Harris finished with 210 votes, while Malone received 205 votes.
Noble County: Republican gets 86 percent in three-way race
Republican Nick Hughes easily won the race for Noble County Commissioner District 3, capturing 86 percent of the vote. His opponents, independent Randy Stephens and Democrat Ernest Moore, received just 11 and three percent respectively.
Oklahoma County: Take the city clerk off the ballot in Luther
Residents in Luther will no longer elect their city clerk. With only 58 people voting, 34 opted to transition city clerk to an appointed position.
In a race for the Ward 4 seat on the Spencer City Council, Charmin Williams easily beat Lisa Janloo 73 percent to 27 percent, or 334 to 125.
Okmulgee County: Democrat dominates commissioner race
With 790 people voting, Democrat Dan Artussee was elected to be the next Okmulgee County District 3 commissioner. He defeated Republican Kathy George-Spears by a 68 to 32 percent margin.
Pittsburg County: McAlester residents say yes on water upgrades
With just under 1,000 people casting ballots, 76 percent of voters in McAlester approved a $32.5 million bond project that will improve the city’s sanitary sewer and solid waste disposal facilities. McAlester voters also approved a 0.25 percent sales tax to help pay for the water system upgrades, which passed by a 80 to 20 percent margin.
Seminole County: Residents approve sales tax for treatment plant
Voters in the city of Seminole approved a 0.5 percent sales tax that will fund a new wastewater treatment plant. The current facility is nearly 100 years old. With 310 people casting votes, the tax was approved by a 90 to 10 percent margin.
Voters approve bond issues for four school districts
Four out of six Oklahoma school districts saw bond propositions pass Tuesday evening including Blackwell, Flower Mound, Pocola and Yukon Public Schools.
Voters also approved a proposition that will allow a partnership between Mangum Public Schools, located in Greer County, and the Southwest Technology Center for high school students to take courses. The proposition passed with about 66.85 percent of the vote and will also allow residents within the Mangnum Schools district to take courses at SWTC at a reduced tuition rate.
According to state law, bond propositions must receive a supermajority of at least 60 percent of the vote in order to be approved.
A $14.2 million bond issue for Laverne Public Schools that was expected to increase local property taxes by about 38.57 percent — and drew mixed feedback from community members on the district’s Facebook page — failed by a wide margin Tuesday. The proposition only received about 28.83 percent of the vote, with 711 ballots cast.
The bond issue would have allowed the district to construct a multi-purpose facility with a safe room to replace the district’s aging physical education building, as well as sports stadium improvements.
Colcord Public Schools south of Jay also saw their bond issue fail after receiving only about 48.92 percent of the vote, with 370 total ballots cast. The $6.8 million bond issue would have been used to remodel the district’s middle school, renovate the district’s elementary school to include a community storm shelter, construct an addition to the vocational agriculture building and other renovations.
Voters approved two bond propositions totaling about $194.2 million for Yukon Public Schools.
The first proposition, totaling about $189.2 million, received 70.91 percent of the vote and will allow the district to construct a new performing arts center, college and career center and indoor activity center as well as district-wide renovations. The second proposition, totaling $5 million, received 73.41 percent of the vote and will be used for district transportation.
Pocola Public Schools voters also approved two bond propositions totaling about $1.1 million. The first proposition, totaling $600,000, was narrowly approved by voters with 60.88 percent of the vote and will be used for renovations and repairs to existing school sites and football, softball and baseball fields. The second proposition, totaling $500,000, will be used for district transportation and saw slightly better voter support with about 67.44 percent of the votes cast in approval.
Flower Mound Public School, a pre-K through fifth-grade school in Comanche County, will be able to construct an early childhood development center after a $2 million bond proposition was barely approved by voters with about 60.38 percent of the vote.
Blackwell Public Schools voters also approved a $23.5 million bond issue for district wide repairs with about 80.71 percent of the vote.