Voters turned away at Jenks polling place

JENKS, Okla. -- Voters were turned away at one polling place in Jenks.

Two Jenks Public Schools bond propositions totaling $14 million were on the ballot for classroom expansion and technology.

Precinct 703 has a polling place at New Spring Family Church and serves nearly 1,800 voters. But when several went to cast their vote Tuesday morning, they were surprised to learn they were not on the precinct list.

Gwen Freeman with the Tulsa County Election Board said, “(The volunteer) was mistaking the school election for a municipal election. When you look at the precinct registry, there are two columns."

It was a simple mistake by the precinct volunteer who got the lists mixed up.

Rob Loeber with Jenks Public School explained, “The boundaries of our school district are a lot larger than the Jenks municipality. We expend to both sides of the river."

After Jenks Public School officials were made aware of the error by a parent, JPS called the election board. School officials were assured the error had been taken care of and sent out a message to parents alerting them of the mistake, encouraging voters to return to the polls if they were turned away previously.

The Tulsa County Election Board says this does not happen very often, but when it does, they spring into action.

Freeman said, “My team, just to make sure this wasn’t a widespread misunderstanding, has made it to the phones and called every single one of our precinct workers at each precinct site to make sure, double sure that they knew who was eligible for what ballot.”

The election board learned only five voters had been turned away before the error was fixed. They made contact with two who said they’d go back to vote later in the day.

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